Ancient Persia and its Liquid Gold

Which is the oldest Cocktail in America?

it is The Sazerac, a cocktail that is widely regarded as the world's oldest cocktail.
According to legend, the Sazerac was invented in 1838 by a Creole apothecary ( chemist/ pharmacist in modern terms ) Antoine Peychaud in New Orleans, Louisiana.

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Those five 9 litre jars excavated from Hajji Firuz Tepe


Archeological excavation in the Northwest Iran and the excavations at the Godin Tepe in the Zagros Mountain in the 1960s suggest that Iran was one of the earliest civilisations where wine was made.

The Yellowish residue found in five nine litre jars excavated from the floor of a probable kitchen of a mud brick structure, from the Hajji Firuz Tepe in the northern Zagros Mountains of Iran, by Mary M.Voigt in the 1960s, ushers a lot of light on the understanding of Neolithic Winemaking.
The yellowish residue and the jars, probably of thousands of years old wine, were dated back to at least 5400-5000 BC.

Chemical analysis of the yellowish fluid showed it contained tartaric acid ( commonly found in grapes ) and calcium tartrate ( a by-product of wine making and a calcium salt of Tartaric Acid ) which although is not definitive proof of winemaking, it does show a strong possibility, grapes being unique as one of the very source of tartaric acid in nature, tartaric acid being the most abundant acid in wines and often crystallise and deposit at the bottom of containers that are used to age wine.




Neolithic Wine Jar from Hajji Feruz tepe Neolithic Wine Jar from Hajji Firuz  Tepe - Source Penn Museum








Achaemenid Tomb Attributed to Darius II Achaemenid Tomb Attributed to Darius II




The Tomb of King Darius


A Greek food author named Athenaeus has mentioned in his book that the Achaemenid King Darius the Great had the following inscription on his tomb : “I was able to drink a great deal of wine and to bear it well”.





Drink and decide and then think and decide


From excerpts of writing by Greek Historian Herodotus of the 5th Century BCE, it is learnt that the Persians were very fond of wine and it played an important role in decision making. Herodotus writes that the Persians took critical decisions under the influence of Wine, and the next morning they would again reconsider the decision taken and if it is still worth going for, it is considered to be the decision taken.

It is said that the ritual of drinking was apparently used as part of decision making at the time of King Cyrus of Persia(525 B.C),who often praised the virtue of moderate drinking.

Being part of the History of Herodotus Being part of the History of Herodotus







Sasanian Iran 4th-5th Century Anahita_Vessel Cleveland Museum of Art Sasanian Iran 4th-5th Century Anahita Vessel Cleveland Museum of Art




Wine making in Sassanid Period continued well into the Umayyad era


Historian Rudi Matthee explains that in Zoroastrianism wine was a symbol for liquid gold as well as the moving fire of the radiant sun, and it is understood that wine held a ritual function in Zoroastrianism and was a substitute for blood in the liberation ritual.

Like the ancient Achaemenids, the Sassanid period in Persia, wine played an important role in court rituals too. Imperial wine presses have been discovered in Fars, these presses were evidently shut down after Muslim conquest in the late 7th century, but the local Zoroastrian communities continued producing wine.

The Zoroastrians had a unique trade relationship with the Muslims and the Muslims too had unique trade relationship with the Zoroastrians, that allowed the Zoroastrians produce and sell wine and open taverns, and the Persian term referring to a wine steward in Bacchic poetry, mobadhcheh ( son of a magus, where magus refers to Zoroastrians ) refers to these Zoroastrian taverns. Medieval Persian poet Hafiz refers to drinking adventures inside "Magian taverns" and Zoroastrian tavern girls entertaining and serving wine.



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  • Any Glass

    When there is no specific glass suggested for a cocktail, it's up to you to chose a glass.
    Either you just go ahead and serve using any glass available to you following these simple rules
    A. Go for Tall or Collins Glasses, Highball Glasses or even Hurricane Glasses for cocktails with loads of non-alcoholic mixes, and those that require crushed or cubed ices,
    B. But if your cocktail is aromatic and liqueur based, and has a complex character that must reach the nose use a wide mouthed Cocktail Glass.
    C. Red Wine Glasses for cocktails that have a Red Wine as the base spirit. Red Wine Glasses have a wider mouth and a long stem, so that the wine can be swirled an aerated to release the aroma while the long stem keeps the fingers away and avoid quick warming of the wine.
    D. White Wine Glasses for cocktails with a White Wine base, since White Wines must not be aerated as much as a Red Wines, since they oxidise fast when in contact with air, White Wine glassware, in contrast to the wide mouthed bowl of a Red Wine Glassware, is narrow with a narrow mouth. A White Wine has much lighter and delicate notes and the narrow mouth and less surface area in contact with air helps retain the aroma.
    E. If your cocktail is based on a Sparkling Wine like Champagne then a Flute Glass is more suitable since a Sparkling Wine is a White Wine with a secondary fermentation that produces the bubbles, and the narrow mouth flute prevents the bubbles from escaping.
    F. If it's winter and you are in the mood for some hot cocktails like the Irish Coffee or Hot Toddy, go for the Irish Coffee Glass, it has a heat resistant glass and a handle.
    G. Martini Glasses for Martinis or "Tinis" in general, but since these glasses have fallen off of favour these days, a Cocktail Glass will be good too.
    H. IF you are serving Margaritas, don't look for Margarita Glass if you don't have one at home, Double Old Fashioned Glass or other glasses are more common these days, for serving Margaritas.
    I. If you are the adventurous one, and are serving shots or shooters, of course the Shot Glass is your choice of glass,
    J. Finally, if you are going all out and serving depth charges and car bomb shots, all you need is a Double Old Fashioned Glass or a Beer Mug for the beer and a shot glass to drop the bomb in.

  • Simple Guide to Cocktail Glassware

    When there is no specific glass suggested for a cocktail, it's up to you to chose a glass.
    Either you just go ahead and serve using any glass available to you following these simple rules
    A. Go for Tall or Collins Glasses, Highball Glasses or even Hurricane Glasses for cocktails with loads of non-alcoholic mixes, and those that require crushed or cubed ices,
    B. But if your cocktail is aromatic and liqueur based, and has a complex character that must reach the nose use a wide mouthed Cocktail Glass.
    C. Red Wine Glasses for cocktails that have a Red Wine as the base spirit. Red Wine Glasses have a wider mouth and a long stem, so that the wine can be swirled an aerated to release the aroma while the long stem keeps the fingers away and avoid quick warming of the wine.
    D. White Wine Glasses for cocktails with a White Wine base, since White Wines must not be aerated as much as a Red Wines, since they oxidise fast when in contact with air, White Wine glassware, in contrast to the wide mouthed bowl of a Red Wine Glassware, is narrow with a narrow mouth. A White Wine has much lighter and delicate notes and the narrow mouth and less surface area in contact with air helps retain the aroma.
    E. If your cocktail is based on a Sparkling Wine like Champagne then a Flute Glass is more suitable since a Sparkling Wine is a White Wine with a secondary fermentation that produces the bubbles, and the narrow mouth flute prevents the bubbles from escaping.
    F. If it's winter and you are in the mood for some hot cocktails like the Irish Coffee or Hot Toddy, go for the Irish Coffee Glass, it has a heat resistant glass and a handle.
    G. Martini Glasses for Martinis or "Tinis" in general, but since these glasses have fallen off of favour these days, a Cocktail Glass will be good too.
    H. IF you are serving Margaritas, don't look for Margarita Glass if you don't have one at home, Double Old Fashioned Glass or other glasses are more common these days, for serving Margaritas.
    I. If you are the adventurous one, and are serving shots or shooters, of course the Shot Glass is your choice of glass,
    J. Finally, if you are going all out and serving depth charges and car bomb shots, all you need is a Double Old Fashioned Glass or a Beer Mug for the beer and a shot glass to drop the bomb in.

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