“Nordic Grog” An Ancient Scandinavian Treat

HavorhoardwebIt turns out the ancient peoples of Scandinavia had more than a blazing fire to keep them warm. New biomolecular archaeological evidence recently published by Patrick E. McGovern, Scientific Director, Biomolecular Archaeology Project at the Penn Museum, and colleagues, points to a "Nordic Grog" with a long history. From northwest Denmark, circa 1500–1300 BC, to the Swedish island of Gotland as late as the first century AD, Nordic peoples were imbibing an alcoholic "grog" or extreme hybrid beverage rich in local ingredients, including honey, bog cranberry, lingonberry, bog myrtle, yarrow, juniper, birch tree resin, and cereals including wheat, barley and/or rye—and sometimes, grape wine imported from southern or central Europe.

Read about the latest chapter in Dr. McGovern's decades-long quest to understand the cultural and gustatorial history of alcoholic beverages here.

Photo: Ancient Roman imported drinking-set, comprised of a bucket (situla), a ladle and strainer-cup nested together, and several "sauce pans" or drinking cups, from a hoard under the floor of a settlement at Havor (Sweden) in the southern part of the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea, first century AD (Photograph courtesy of E. Nylén and Statens Historiska Museum, Stockholm).


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