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Drink Like a Patriot This Fourth of July | Mental Floss

Stashed in: Alcohol!, Murica!

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Getting Lordly with Sir John Strawberry Alcohol was extremely important to the colonials. They used it for basic hydration, for medicine, and for the rare leisure such a difficult existence allowed.

In accordance with that leisurely attitude toward the stuff, in 1737, Benjamin Franklin compiled a dictionary of 200 synonyms for “being drunk.” My personal favorites include, “Been too free with Sir John Strawberry,” “Nimptopsical,” and simply, “Lordly.” 

One of the reasons a person in the 18th century could drink all day and still have a functioning liver as they entered middle-age (which, to be fair, was their late 20s) was because of “small beer.” For centuries, Western civilization had relied on small beer which usually contained only between 2 to 4 percent alcohol, enough to make sure the water was safe, but not enough to mess you up.  The American colonists (cheerfully fueling the slave trade at the very moment they were considering the concept of their own freedom) especially enjoyed small beer brewed from Caribbean molasses (they were also quite fond of Caribbean rum).

Boozing Without Brits All that molasses brew and rum dried up when the Revolutionary War started, and the British blockaded colonial seaports. Americans tried to make their own wine, but that never took off. They honestly thought it would, bless them. But, as it turns out, America’s west coast would be more ideally suited for wine valleys.

So, replacements were needed to soothe the dry throats of our militia. Cider, made from pressing apples or peaches and allowing them to ferment, replaced a lot of the molasses-based drinks. And then came corn whiskey! During the Revolutionary War, corn whiskey wasn’t just the domain of moonshiners and pipe smoking, Hatfield-hatin’, Appalachian grandmas.

The whiskey biz turned a major perishable crop of America—corn—into something shelf-stable. And it helped the fledgling nation grow its economy. In 1799, George Washington’s distillery at Mount Vernon was producing 11,000 gallons of whiskey a year. George Washington brewed whiskey as a means of boosting the American economy and helping to establish independence from all things British. Thus, by the transitive property, if you love America, you will drink whiskey this Fourth of July.

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Thank you, Mental Floss.

But I'm disappointed there's no recipe for that Windex-Blue-Looking-Liquid in the image you stashed!

Curacao maybe? 

I know what my toast will be this 4th:  Like A Sir!

Blue Lagoon?

clear blue alcohol drink

Recipe does in fact have Blue Curacao:

The Blue Lagoon drink is made from vodka, blue curacao and lemon-lime soda, and served in a highball glass.

Blue Lagoon Ingredients:

Blue Lagoon Instructions:

  • Fill a highball glass with ice.
  • Add the vodka, blue curacao and fill with Sprite or 7-Up.

Just one shot of vodka? That seems... low.

Add however much vodka it takes to sooth your wounds. - PandaWhale

Yeah, that's better.


The Blue Lagoon does sound delightfully refreshing!

It does! This is usually me when I'm drinking...

Add however much vodka it takes to sooth your wounds. - PandaWhale

...but a Blue Lagoon I could see sipping instead.

Me after I clicked on that link:

I don't know what I expected gif

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