It was the year 1678. The international wine trade was in full swing, with French, Spanish, and Italian wines zipping ar...

It was the year 1678. The international wine trade was in full swing, with French, Spanish, and Italian wines zipping around the Continent, mainly to Holland and England. The result was a stroke of holy genius: Adding liquor not only preserved the wine but invented a new drink, fortified wine, the world’s first hybrid spirit. Think wine+vodka, beer+wine, rye+bourbon, tequila+cognac.

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