During the reign of Tsar Peter the Great, it was customary for foreign dignitaries to drink from the “Cup of the White Eagle”, a chalice containing 1.5 litres of vodka – so many nations’ ambassadors travelled in pairs, with one official drinking the vodka, and the other discussing state issues

20 Facts About Your Favorite Liquors

Jack Sparrow has his rum, Ron Burgundy has his scotch, and you probably have your own favorite liquor, too. But how much do you know about your beverage of choice from that magical shelf behind the bar?

Whether you’re a whiskey connoisseur or just a gin enthusiast, it’s always good to keep a few little-known facts under your belt, because you never know when the right piece of trivia will come in handy. After all, if you can’t do a magic trick, you might as well dazzle your drinking partners with your knowledge of good spirits.

With that in mind, here are 20 things you might not know about the most popular types of liquor.

BOURBON

1.

In 1964, the U.S. Congress recognized bourbon as a “distinctive product of the United St… Continue Reading (5 minute read)

7 thoughts on “During the reign of Tsar Peter the Great, it was customary for foreign dignitaries to drink from the “Cup of the White Eagle”, a chalice containing 1.5 litres of vodka – so many nations’ ambassadors travelled in pairs, with one official drinking the vodka, and the other discussing state issues”

  1. diogenesofthemidwest

    Peter, on the other hand, asked for another round. Ah, Russia.

  2. TBTabby

    None for me, thanks. I’m the designated diplomat.

  3. BapAndBoujee

    Bullying dignitaries to have an easier time dealing with them is a time-tested strategy. During the Neo-Assyrian empire the vestibules to the emperor’s throne room were decorated with reliefs graphically depicting the Assyrians slaying and subjugating former enemies. A common theory as to why this imagery was chosen is so that diplomats from tributaries and allies have a good idea what “or else” looks like

  4. Echo__227

    Peter really hated the courtroom politics, since as a child he saw firsthand just how cutthroat all the nobles were.

    Dude was like 7 feet tall, performed some executions personally with an axe, wore “commoner’s clothes” and spent most of his days LARPing as a sailor at the docks, and enjoyed embarrassing foreign officials with his crude manner whenever they invited him.

  5. CenTexChris

    NASA astronauts visiting the Soviet Cosmodrome in 1975, in preparation for the joint Apollo-Soyuz space mission, were plied with so much vodka that they had to discreetly pour it into potted plants and the like in an attempt to keep their heads clear during discussions with their boisterous Russian hosts. Source: Deke Slayton’s biography.

  6. valeramaniuk

    Cursory googling in Russian contradicts the story. The cup is called “Big (sometimes Great) Eagle” and the legend(the keyword here) says it was used as a “penalty shot” for anyone who misbehaved at the party. I could find nothing about foreign diplomats. But again, I made just a cursory search.

    btw the “penalty shot” (*штрафная*) is still a thing, for people who are late at the party. Not really to punish anybody, but rather to level everyone.

  7. really_bitch_

    All is bliss in the court of Peter

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