According to historical records, King Minh Mang (who reigned from 1820 to 1840) was so physicallystrong that he has 500 wises, he fathered 142 sons and daughters. Legend attributes his virility to a medicinal liquor made especially for him. The drink later became known as Rượu Thuốc Minh Mạng (Minh Mang Tonic Wine).Among the thirteen kings of the Nguyen Dynasty, KingTuDuc (who reigned from 1847 to 1883) and King Minh Mang were both known for their interest in medicine and for their patronage of the Royal Medical Academy. Tu Duc was physically weak and needed many royal doctors. Even though Minh Mang was strong from birth and well-built, he still had the best medical practitioners assess his pulse regularly and give him special prescriptions.
Royal doctors selected appropriate Chinese herbs,soaked them in liquor, and served this brew to the king each day. The ingredients of Minh Mang Tonic Wine included as many as twenty-six different herbs. Thanks perhaps in part to this tonic, King Minh Mang was the most successful of the Nguyen rulers. He renovated Hue’s Inner Citadel, erected cannons on the city walls, and had the first administrative map of Viet Nam drawn. In addition, he composed over 3,500 poems, which were collected in seventy-three volumes.
The king prohibited any illegal copying of the recipe for Minh Mang Tonic Wine. Nevertheless, some royal mandarins who admired the wine’s apparently miraculous effects secretly transcribedthe prescription and passed it down to succeeding generations. Minh Mang Tonic Wine remains popular in Hue today, although its quality isperhaps not quite as potent as the original.
Source : Culturaltravel.com