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Would you drink this 200-year-old booze?

Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Tuesday, August 19, 2014, 2:31 PM - We don't know what was on the minds of the underwater archaeologists who unearthed a 200-year-old bottle of booze off the Polish coast, but they must have been wondering: Could we drink this?

After finding the bottle in a 200-year-old shipwreck, and performing tests on it, scientists at Poland's National Maritime Museum in Gdansk say: Sure, but...

Archaeologist Tomasz Bednarz told this Polish news site that the liquid in the bottle is around 14 per cent alcohol, likely diluted with water, and can be consumed even after all that time beneath the waves.

[Image Credit: PAP 2014, Adam Warsawa]

"This means, it would not cause poisoning. Apparently, however, it does not smell particularly good," he said, adding the liquid may be a kind of gin known to be common in the Netherlands and Belgium.

However, the presence of the alcohol in the stone-ware bottle is a mystery in itself. Based on markings on the bottle's exterior, the team were able to determined more or less when and where it was made, and it seems to have originated from soda water manufacturer "Selters," which operated out of Ransbach in Germany.

New tests are underway to determine whether the alcohol was diluted with Selters mineral water, which was produced in bottles like the one found over the period 1806 to 1830, according to this news release from the museum.

"Did someone really pour this drink into a soda bottle, or are we dealing with a different beverage? Experts will try to determine this in another series of analyses, which will be completed in early September," Bednarz said.

UNDERSEA ODDITIES: Read about seven weird things we found under the sea.

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