Shipwreck Yields 200-Year-Old Booze You Can Drink

Bottle may contain mix of gin and Selters mineral water
By Shelley Hazen,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2014 2:15 PM CDT
Shipwreck Yields 200-Year-Old Booze You Can Drink

A 200-year-old bottle of alcohol found in a shipwreck at the bottom of the Baltic Sea is still suitable for drinking—if you can get past its stink. The stoneware bottle, emblazoned with the name of a mineral water named Selters, was found off the Polish coast in the Gulf of Gdansk last year, LiveScience reports. Preliminary lab tests suggest at least a bit of the water was left in the bottle before it was refilled with liquor by boozy sailors, UPI speculates. That liquor may be a type of gin called jenever and it was diluted with water that matches Selters. Should archaeologists succumb to temptation and sip a little of the gin, the old alcohol won't poison them, but "it does not smell particularly good," says one scientist.

Selters soda water comes from the Taunus Mountains in Germany and was found 1,000 years ago, LiveScience explains. The bottle from the Gdansk wreck is from the early 19th century and originated 25 miles from Selters Springs; it was one of 2 million likely sold in the region's village shops, adds Science and Scholarship in Poland. The spring went dry in the early 19th century, but a new one was found in 1896; the water is still sold as a luxury product. The stinky concoction in the stoneware bottle will undergo more tests, as per UPI. LiveScience offers these pictures of the discovery. (These explorers went looking for a shipwreck ... and found a plane.)

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