Happy original Brexit Day! Americans everywhere are using this three day weekend to celebrate sovereignty by getting utterly hammered. But that is something that hasn’t really changed all that much in 240 years. Turns out our forefathers were running around Boston drunker than the Gronk brothers. Benjamin Franklin, the original Slim Shady of language, had 200 different ways to even say drunk. The American Revolution was plotted in bars, which I totally get. I’ve had all my best ideas in bars. Business idea: monkeys that deliver marijuana edibles to your house. Screenplay idea: a marijuana edible delivery monkey that gets involved in Tokyo drifting.
So what exactly were these OGs drinking? Basically, everything they could get their grubby hands on. John Hancock got popped for attempting to smuggle 100 caskets of Madeira past British customs agents! So bad ass and American. But here are three you can enjoy today still.
Its estimated that the colonists drank about seven gallons of alcohol a year, but this is mostly because their water was literally shit. I completely understand. Half the time I’m drinking wine it is because I ran out of La Croix. While they definitely put down some beer (looking at you, Samuel Adams), many of the framers started the morning with cider. Apples were much easier to grow in northeastern America than hops and barley, making it readily prevalent and present at most meals. But their hard ciders were quite different than the sugary Angry Orchards we know today which I think is just melted Runts. I really like Crispin Staggers Lee Cider which uses apple-wine aged in American bourbon casks, giving it a spicy butterscotch note. In a pinch, Stella Artois’ Cidre is surprisingly balanced and currently has a $4 deal on the iBotta coupon app. Yeah. I’m a 30-something mother of two. Deal with it.
Thomas Jefferson was the original wine geek. He was also contradictory on on his stance of slavery and completely fucked the US economy with the Non-Importation and Embargo Acts of 1807, but glass houses, amiright? Anyway, this man spent roughly a third of his first year presidency salary on wine. He put a goddamn wine cellar under the White House. His chief love? Bordeaux, a region in France famous for its swoon-worthy cabernet blends. Its basically the priciest alpha-male beverage the world has ever known. Jefferson’s personal favorite was Chateau Haut-Brion. Oh, you don’t have a G to drop on four glasses of wine? WINE HACK! Chateau Haut-Vigneau is nearby, and at around $20, you can truly feel as if God created all men equal.
This era was the height of punch. You read that right. Punch. Even military bad asses like George Washington were down for a rum cocktail, which with the current tiki cocktail craze only strengthens my belief that Washington was the first hipster. I mean, the guy grew hemp! The most famous Revolutionary era punch recipe came from the the Schuylkill Fishing Company of Pennsylvania, a long standing social club of insane fishermen who, to this day, think they are their own state. The punch is referred to as Philadelphia Fish House Punch and the recipe should make 18-20 servings, depending on how big your friends are. I mostly hang out with other tall people, so this will probably work for 5 of us. If you didn’t complete a wedding registry in the late-1950’s, you probably don’t own a punch bowl. Feel free to use a large mixing bowl or children’s inflatable pool instead.
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 lemons, peeled
- 4 cups black tea
- 1 cup lemon juice
- 4 cups Jamaican rum
- 2 cup cognac
- 1/2 cup peach brandy, or Schnapps in a pinch
- Add sugar and lemon peels, and rub together to release the citrus oils into the sugar. Let sit for half an hour.
- Dissolve sugar with warm water or tea.
- Add rum, cognac, lemon juice and peach brandy and stir to mix.
- Traditionally, a block of ice is used to chill but you can get away with lots of cubes.
- Garnish with lemon wheels or peach slices. Nutmeg is a classic garnish as well.
- Ladle into individual glasses.... or directly into your mouth