June 27th, 2007

July 4th reading assignment

Pilgrim Rum - Boston

As Independence Day nears, American drinkers, and particularly New England drinkers, will find validation for their passion for booze in the 2005 Salon article “The spirits of 1776.”

“The American Revolution was not about tea. It was about rum: the real spirit of 1776 … The real conflict between the colonists and Britain began over taxes on molasses, not tea. And that’s where the French come in. The Founding Fathers not only loved the French, but they also loved the molasses that Paris’ Caribbean colonies produced — and they loved even more the rum that New England distillers made from it,” writes Ian Williams.

I can’t flippin’ believe I didn’t know this. Maybe that’s because, as Williams puts it, “years of temperance pressure and Prohibition — and probably the Walt Disney Co. and Hollywood — have essentially shoved the real history of the Revolution down a memory hole.”

If you, like me, were in the dark about this bit of history, mix yourself a rum punch and give this article a read. Then go to your Fourth of July cookout and repeat the info to everyone there.

Extra credit: pick up today’s New York Times, whose Dining section is devoted to drinks of all kinds, and read “A Bit of History, Reborn in a Glass,” an article on bitters. The story is anchored on recent attempts to re-create Abbot’s bitters, which you may already have read about somewhere.

Permalink | Filed under Bitters, Booze in the news, Rum |

2 Responses to “July 4th reading assignment”

  1. steve s

    Your 4th of July story reminded me of one. Several years ago I walked into the tir na nog and before I could say anything, Fergil the bartender poured two shots. With out a word, we clink glasses, down the shots, and he toasts – “Here’s to throwing the British out of your f*#kin’ country!”. Just great. Happy 4th!!!

    Hope to see you and Scott soon…


  2. ljclark

    That is righteous, Steve.

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