The Social History of Bourbon

The Social History of Bourbon

Language: English

Pages: 280

ISBN: 0813126568

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The distinctive beverage of the Western world, bourbon is Kentucky's illustrious gift to the world of spirits. Although the story of American whiskey is recorded in countless lively pages of our nation's history, the place of bourbon in the American cultural record has long awaited detailed and objective presentation. Not a recipe book or a barman's guide, but a fascinating and informative contribution to Americana, The Social History of Bourbon reflects an aspect of our national cultural identity that many have long suppressed or overlooked. Gerald Carson explores the impact of the liquor's presence during America's early development, as well as bourbon's role in some of the more dramatic events in American history, including the Whiskey Rebellion, the scandals of the Whiskey Ring, and the "whiskey forts" of the fur trade. The Social History of Bourbon is a revealing look at the role of this classic beverage in the development of American manners and culture.

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protest I have divers times refused to drink good strong English beer and chosen to drink that." This intelligence, which was received in England no doubt with unbelief, was important in the annals of American drinking. A Spanish visitor noted that the Virginians were a sickly lot and put his finger on the reason: " . . . they have . . . nothing to drink but water . . . which is contrary to the nature of the English." This was said, of course, before Thorpe's successful experiment. The Captain

And pack it so it wont wratle for they are gitin very strick . . . if I can git it heare it will bring me good too hundred dollars the minet I get it if yo cant git hy wines git what yo can eny thing that is licker when yo Send it Direct it to Doctor Sawin Just as yo have the rest." * The ingenious author of this letter came to a sudden end. Before his enlistment expired he fell off a hospital boat and drowned. The most famous anecdote of the Civil War period involving whiskey is undoubtedly

himself to a quart a day. The allowance proved to be too small, for Micajah lost his battle with the angel of death at the age of eighty. N ew Jersey took a commanding lead at a very early date in distilling apple whiskey whose potency is suggested in the name Jersey Lightning, so called because it struck suddenly and produced an affliction known as "apple palsy." Firm information on the applejack distilling industry of the state is fragmentary and difficult to come by, since local history was

mingled with the stench of green hides and fur-bearing Indians. Luke Short, the famous gambler, got his start when he filled a wagon with what was known as Old Pine Top and set up business in a thicket near the Red Cloud Reservation. Short occasionally had to kill an Indian to keep order, although he hated to do it, as that meant he had to face some nocturnal digging. Luke always loathed physical exercise. The military finally and firmly put him on the train for Omaha, but they never discovered

Right. . . . we dare not take a gallon of our own whiskey from our own warehouse unless it is all right," Hayner Whiskey pointed out. Old Sunnybrook decorated its advertisements with a picture of a soldierly looking government man wearing an official cap marked "Inspector" and pointed out, "The Inspector is back of every Bottle." A wholesaler handling, among others, such representative labels as Hermitage, Sunnybrook and Paul Jones, decorated its advertising with some ten different pictures of

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