Stories tagged Shackleton

Feb
05
2010

Someone is going to get a serious haunting: until I get my whiskey back!
Someone is going to get a serious haunting: until I get my whiskey back!Courtesy Brianboulton
It’s widely accepted that, if it weren’t for whiskey, some of humankind’s greatest discoveries never would have been made.

The North Pole? Forget it. Nuclear power? No chance. Einstein’s house keys? No way. (Although, to be fair, he never would have lost the keys in the first place if it hadn’t also been for whiskey.)

Whiskey is for explorers and their ilk what spinach is to Popeye.

Don’t believe me? Check this out: A quasi-archaeological expedition to Antarctica to recover the explorer Ernest Shackleton’s 100-year-old whiskey.

Apparently there were several crates buried beneath a shed Shackleton had used. So, you know, why not grab a couple? Ice had cracked some of the bottles, but the freezing point of pure ethanol is about -114º C, and the whiskey was likely at least 80 proof (40% alcohol), so, buried beneath the hut, most of the bottles were safe from freezing.

The distillery that had originally supplied the Shackleton expedition with whiskey is hoping that one of the recovered bottles might be used to reverse-engineer the whiskey blend, since that recipe was lost a long time ago.

It’s sort of like the efforts to map frozen mammoth DNA to bring the species back through cloning. Except with whiskey.