Fun Fact: Etymology of ‘Lambic’

Bronx NY-

After listening to a recent radio show on Lambics, I found myself wondering where the word “Lambic” originated. I thought that it surely had some relation to the style’s fruit flavors or natural fermentation. The answer it turns out it much more simple. According to “Lambic” is related to the fourteenth century Middle French word for a still, alambic. At this point the etymology takes an interesting turn. The fourteenth century term, through the previous three centuries of contact between French knights and the Arabic speaking world, was an adaptation of al-anbiq the Arabic word for “distilling flask.” Reaching further back, al-anbiq is related to the Greek word ambix meaning “cup.”


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