The Cantankardius was invented by a leading Roman republic senator and an avid inventor called Laggeronius, during the 1st century BC. The Cantankardius was designed to hold a 50 centilitre can of cold beer and prevent it from warming up from the heat of the hand, however it was written by Medicus Cervisiam, a much respected doctor of the time that the chilling effects of a cold can of beer on the hands would “… stimulate the holder to suffer from the ‘Cold Humors’, which causeth the bile to boil up and an unpleasant taste to be held on the tongue that leadeth the mind to become black and offended”. His thesis continued with “… the leather and wax annuls and thwarts the offending heat of the summer sun, which so offends the pallet when overly warm beer is imbibed”, and finished with “The joy of a cold cervisiam [beer] stimulates the mind to a pleasant mood, which causeth the tongue to stimulating conversation …”
Laggeronius stated in his treaties ‘Et inebriari - Senatus bibere cervisiam’ that the Cantankardius was the cornerstone of the Congregati pars - manducare cibum et bibere cervisiam. Since ice for cooling down the cans of beer was relatively hard to obtain during the summer months in this era, presumably because the electric fridge would not be invented for another couple of millennia, it was considered the height of good taste and a sign of wealth and prosperity to drink beer from an ‘alumina-cancarus’ that had been placed in a Cantankardius.
The concept of the Cantankardius quickly filtered down to the unwashed masses and thus quickly spread throughout the whole Roman Empire. By the 3rd century AD the Cantankardius had become part of the standard military issue kit; its use became so embedded into military society that it was adopted as part of Imperial Military Law. The Emperor was pressured by the Roman army, by threat of mutiny, to decreed that “… a Legionnaire who cannot not say the word ‘Cantankardius” is [considered] to be ‘ebrius est’ [too drunk] to be on duty … [and is therefore] ‘officium excusatum’ [excused duty] until the word can be said without “… slip or error”. It was but a few short decades later that the Roman army disintegrated as the Western Roman Empire collapsed.
Each leather Cantankardius is hand cut from the very best quality 3.5mm (+/-)vegetable tanned leather, then stitched and individually wet moulded before it is carefully sealed and then lined with bees wax ready for use.
Since the Cantankardius has been fully lined and sealed with bees wax it can safely be used in two ways: -
You can place any 500ml can, containing the drink of your choice, directly inside the Cantankardius and drink directly from the can itself whilst holding the Cantankardius as you would a cup or mug.
You can pour your beer or drink of your choice, into the Cantankardius and drink directly from the tankard.
Please note that the measurements can vary slightly from tankard to tankard due to variations in construction. Each Cantankardius is designed to hold either a standard 500ml can of drink or approximately 500ml of liquid.
Individual Shape & Character
Since each Tankard is made as an exclusive item, each Tankard will have taken its own individual journey during the making that defined its uniqueness with regard to shape, colour and feel. Each Leather Tankard will slightly vary as each one is handmade. Now we could have easily made our Leather tankards so that they all looked and felt exactly the same, by simply moulding them around a standard can shaped wooden block former before assembly. However, that manufacturing technique would have created a style of tankard that would have lacked the individual character and originality that we were looking for. Certainly wet moulding leather around a wooden former, before assembly, requires a lot less effort than wet moulding them after assembly as in the method that we employed.
Since we decided to approach the production of them from a more organic direction, creating them as individual and uniquely shaped items. During the waxing process the leather’s unique qualities, imperfections and markings, allow it to take on its own extraordinary colours, incorporating subtle shades and hews that define the qualities of the finished product making it quite unique.
Especially if using the Cantankarius as a standard tankard :
Please rinse thoroughly before use as there will be a faint taint of wax that might spoil the taste of your drink.
Do sterilise the Cantankardius after each use with a mild sterilising solution suitable for food containers such as Milton fluid. Thoroughly rinse after sterilising.
Do allow the Cantankardius to drain upside down after rinsing to allow the interior to thoroughly dry out after use.
Do give the Cantankardius an occasional polish with some neutral shoe polish to help prevent aging and cracking – outside only!!!
The Do Not's
WARNING: NEVER fill the Leather Cantankardius with hot liquids, or food stuffs and/or leave by anything hot such as fires, radiators or in a car on a hot sunny days etcetera, as this can melt the wax causing the Cantankardius shape to become distorted, as well as cook the leather causing irreparable damage and shrinkage and may also cause the Cantankardius to leak.
Do not fill the Cantankardius with extremely strong alcoholic based spirit as these products may cause damage to the beeswax Lining. Weaker alcoholic beverages such as beers, lagers,ciders and wines are more suited to using with the Tankard.
Do not fill the Cantankardius with oils such as Olive oil as this can soften the beeswax and compromise the integrity of the Cantankardius.
Do not drop the Cantankardius as this can cause the beeswax to crack and could also dent the tankard at the point of impact. The damaged area may then be prone to leaking.
Do not use strong detergents or any other cleaning agents on the Cantankardius
Do not wash this Cantankardius in a Dishwasher.
Do not store liquids in the tankard for extended periods of time; this could cause bacteria and moulds to grow on it.
Leaking and Damage Repairs
All of our Leather Tankards have been made to the very highest of standards and are check for leaks before they are sent to our customers, however, over time the tankard may be knocked or damaged in some way, which may result in it springing a leak. If leaking does occur it will usually occur at the stitched seams which can be easily fixed or plugged by pressing a small amount of softened Beeswax into the affected area with a smooth pointed stick and then rubbing it down smooth with a cloth.
Or you can melt Beeswax in a suitable container over a Bain Marie (water bath) – never heat beeswax over a naked flame as this can overheat the wax which can then spontaneously combust - and apply the melted beeswax to the damaged area. If the tankards’s shape has been compromised by crushing it can usually be pushed back into shape before the beeswax is applied. Heating the tankard in an oven set to 70 degrees Centigrade (158 degrees Fahrenheit) will allow the beeswax to melt and become hot enough to re-level within the fibres of the leathers, but will not be too hot to cook the leather and damage its structure. Allow the Tankard to cool before handling it. Remove any excess beeswax that was not absorbed into the leather by gently scraping it off with a spoon. The surface can be further refined by applying pure Gum Turpentine to a cloth and rubbing off the wax, when dry, polish the surface with a dry cloth.
Although these Leather Tankards are a fully functional items and are made to the very highest standards using natural materials such as natural beeswax and veg tanned leather, and they have been made using tried and tested techniques based on historical methods and designs. We have to state, that under European guideline these bottles are not suitable for use as a drinking vessal and should be considered a decorative item only, we will leave it to our customers to decide what they use our Tankards for!
Please note no other accessories are included in this sale, all other products are for display only.