An inquiry into the beverage of the ancient Caledonians, and other northern nations, at their feasts
and of their drinking vessels
quaich, horn, ale, liquor, cider, wine
The early inhabitants of the north-west part of what is now called Scotland, appear evidently not to have been far advanced in those arts which are commonly reckoned the improvements of polished life. A simple race, whose principal care was herds and flocks; their dainties were produced by hunting, and their ordinary drink must have been water, which was supplied by every fountain or stream, or milk, which was procured by little labour. But, as these could only serve to answer the pressing calls to thirst, it is evident that inventive luxury had made them acquainted with some fermented liquor, which was used at festivals and grand entertainments, that dissipated their cares, elevated their spirits, and is called by their poets, The Joy of the Shell. But what that liquor was, of what made, or how prepared, we are left almost entirely in the dark.