The Civil War veterans, like the early Colonists, felt it was safer to drink alcohol than the typically polluted water. It also served other purposes such as an effective analgesic, gave energy necessary for hard work, as a social lubricant, provided entertainment, facilitated relaxation and contributed to the enjoyment of food; so in general, alcohol was thought to enhance the quality of life. There was a great love for the spirits as evidenced by George Washington’s large distillery; Thomas Jefferson treasured his French wines, and the quotable Benjamin Franklin freed generations of pious tipplers of guilt when he declared “Wine is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” We have researched Civil War drinks and will be offering five of these hardy cocktails. Most appear in the amazing first colonial cocktail book, published by Jerry Thomas in 1862. Thomas established the image of the bartender as a creative professional and was nicknamed “Professor.”
Civil War Cocktail – (1861) Brandy, sweet vermouth, Campari, bitters
Fish House Punch (1732) – Cognac, rum, peach brandy, lemon & lime juice, simple syrup & nutmeg.
Mint Julep – (1847) Brandy, splash of rum, mint, sugar
Sazerac Cocktail – (1850) Absinthe rinse, Hennessy cognac, Rye, sugar, bitters
The Grog (1740) – Brandy, rum, cinnamon syrup, black tea
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