Many Highland households distilled their own malt whisky for the their own personal use back in the eighteenth century. Tighter restrictions and the ban on private distillation of whisky moved the purchase and drinking of whisky and other spirits under the controls of licensed establishments including the “public house,” which started seeing widespread emergence in the late nineteenth century. The experience of sharing a dram or two with friends moved from one’s hearth to the communal space of the pub under the purview of the barman and barmaid. The barmaid had an important role in facilitating times both good and bad in these places, as they still do today. The job hasn’t changed much into the twenty-first century, nor has what is served.
View the score for “The Barmaid.”