The Alchemist’s Gold Elixir

Gold has long since the Egyptians, been a symbol of the sun, of life and of power. The alchemists of Alexandria used to concoct elixirs of liquid gold as they firmly believed that ingesting gold would lead to a mental, bodily and spiritual purification. Considered a mystical metal, it represented the perfection of matter; when ingested it would cure a multitude of diseases and rejuvenate the body, as for in the afterlife, it was worthy of accompanying the half-god pharaohs on their sacred journey…

Medieval Europe was impassioned by the idea of turning baseless metals into gold, “gold waters” and gold coated pills were developed to treat illnesses. By the Renaissance, the forefather of pharmacology, Paracelsus, had successfully developed several medicines based on gold. By the late 19th century, the British chemist Michael Faraday had prepared what is still referred today as colloidal gold, which are fine particles permanently suspended in a solution that has been used since to cure many ills such as alcoholism, arthritis, terminal cancer and today gold contributes greatly to microsurgery.

Beverages during social events, are rendered more prestigious by golden flakes swirling around your glass. Wines such as the Barossa Valley ‘Gold’ Chardonnay, Goldschläger schnapps, Sobieski or Gold Flakes Supreme vodka, the limited ‘Gold’ Martini by Dolce & Gabbana or even the latest 24 carats beer, all convey a sensation of warmth and luxury. Though today, the notion of ‘cure’ has lost it’s meaning, alcohol is portrayed with an unequivocal notion of festivity and the added portrayal of gold as a profligate luxury. Somehow, the medicinal liquors have parted way to be replaced with a depreciated quality beverage, uplifted by a luxurious golden flake.


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