Brands We Carry
- Bushmill Original
- Jack Daniels
- Jim Beam
- Wild Turkey
- And much more!
Don't see a whiskey you're looking for?
Drop us a line via email on our contact us page or contact your local store. Our products are constantly changing, and we can customer order any liquors not in stock.
Great news! We have just ordered a barrel of Jack Daniel's to be exclusively bottled for CT Beverage Mart. After tasting three different barrels, we decided on our barrel - we hope you will enjoy this bottle as much as we did. We are very excited for it to arrive. We will be having bottle engravings, more info to follow.
Buy your favorites now at any of our four locations!
Mix up some delicious drinks for your friends and family with ease with one of our drink recipes. Try one today!
A History of Whiskey
Although it was originally considered little more than a distilled beer, whiskey has evolved into a complex beverage made from different types of “mash,” the fermented combination of grains that give each whiskey its distinctive taste.
Distillation was discovered in the late eighth century by an Arab scholar known as the Father of Modern Chemistry, Abu Masa Jabir ibn Hayyam (?-803 C.E.). He wondered what would happen if he put wine into an al-ambiq, a round vessel like a tea pot with a tall spout on the top, and boiled it. The vapors rose through the spout, were collected and condensed-created the world's first distilled alcohol. In fact, since the al-ambiq was often used to boil powdered antimony into a liquid called al-kohl (the cosmetic kohl), the liquid became known as alcohol and the al-ambiq became the alembic still, which remains in use today.
The distillate was used as medicine, and remained a secret process, ultimately shared with the monks in Spain, who used them for medicinal purposes. Some orders created their own, such as Benedictine and Chartreuse liqueurs.
Around 1300 Arnald of Villanova, a professor of medicine at one of the first European medical schools compiled the first hand-written instructions for distillation, calling the alcohol aqua vitae, Latin for "water of life." This translates into French eau de vie, Scandinavian akavit and Celtic uisege beatha (ISH-ka BYA-ha--in Gaelic, uisge baugh, ISH-ka BA-ha); in Russian/Polish it is vodka/wodka for "dear little water." Alcohol was deemed to prolong life and cure ills. As we now know, whiskey has no curative properties, but it could help people "feel better," or sleep and forget the pain.
Irish and Scots disagree over where whiskey originated; Scots claim that whiskey originated in Scotland and attribute the monk John Cor with the first variation of the drink there from barley malt in 1294 C.E. There is also an argument that Irish monks who had traveled to the Near East brought back the technique and applied it to a different medium: the ancient Egyptians had been distilling perfume.
As for our word whiskey: The Scotch uisce and the Gaelic uisge, pronounced ISH-ka, became usky and then whiskey in English.
All whiskeys, regardless of the type, are made from a fermented mash of grain. Straight whiskeys are bottled from the casks in which they are aged, with water added to reduce their proof. Blended varieties, such as Bourbon and Tennessee whiskey, can be made by either using "sweet mash" (fresh yeast) or “sour mash” (starter yeast culture saved from a previous batch).
FUN FACTS ABOUT WHISKEY
1. Both spellings, "whiskey" and "whisky" are correct.
Generally, Scotland, Canada and Japan use the spelling "whisky" while Ireland and the US use the spelling "whiskey," but there are exceptions.
2. When the Whiskey comes out of the distillery, it is clear in color, but once it's put into the wooden barrels to age, that's when it starts to get a darker color.
3. A bottle of whiskey can be kept 100 years, without losing the taste of the drink. After opening the whiskey can be kept for 5 years.
4. Name a drink derived from the Celtic expression uisce beatha (water of life).