AGEING sherry at sea has been done by Spaniards for centuries and dates back to ancient Rome.

To revive the tradition, the Juan Sebastián de Elcano vessel has set sail with two casks of González Byass sherry.

The tipple will travel from Spain to Argentina,  through the Pacific past the Philippines and Guam, before returning to port in Cadiz.

The process is said to increase the intensity of flavours in the beverage. 

Navy commanders arranged the expedition to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the first crossing of the Pacific by the Spanish explorer Juan Sebastian Elcano, who their boat is named after.

The Elcano vessel is 371 feet long and has sailed more than 2,000,000 nautical miles.

In 1587, Sir Francis Drake raided Cádiz port and pillaged 2,900 butts of sherry to take to Elizabeth I.

The drink then became an English favourite and has been mentioned in many Shakespeare’s plays.

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