Whisky was originally used as a medicine, as an internal anesthetic and an external antibiotic. Its name comes from the Gaelic word usige, meaning ‘water of life’.Monks in Ireland and Scotland were the first to start distilling whiskey in the 12th century. There wasn’t much wine around back then, so the monks distilled barley beer into liquor whenever they wanted a tipple, and thus whiskey was born. They weren’t allowed to share their distilling secrets until the late 15th century, as manufacturing of distilled spirits was limited to monasteries only.When word got out, it sure was popular. Whisky became the currency during the American Revolutionary War, and even ensued The Whiskey Rebellion. This was subdued by government militia under orders from President George Washington, and resulted in the Internal Revenue Service. Today different grains are used for different varieties, including barley, malted barley, rye, buckwheat and corn. It is typically aged in wooden casks made of charred white oak. Served best on the rocks, this drink rich in history isn’t just for your grandfather.