When you think about alcoholic drinks named after a person, you probably first think of Tom Collins. While that origin story is interesting, Tom Collins wasn’t a real person. But plenty of whiskeys, wines, and cocktails took their names from real people, and the stories may surprise you.
Many bartenders argue mixology is a science, and in the case of the Dubonnet, a French aperitif, they’d be right. It’s said that chemist Joseph Dubonnet was looking for a palatable way to deliver doses of quinine (found in the cinchona tree) to French Foreign Legionnaires in North Africa in order to fight malaria. But writing in the book Just the Tonic, authors Kim Walker and Mark Nesbitt speculate that it’s more likely that he was simply in search for a medicinal tonic in general, not specifically anti-malarial. Either way, in 1846 he came up with the perfect concoction: a blend of fortified wine, herbs, spices, and just the right amount of quinine.
Read the stories of six other alcoholic drinks and the real people behind them at Mental Floss.
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