Alcohol Trivia

  1. President Lyndon B. Johnson's favorite drink may have been scotch and soda. He would ride around his Texas ranch in an open convertible in hot weather. He drank his "scotch and soda out of a large white plastic foam cup. Periodically, Johnson would slow down and hold his left arm outside the car, shaking the cup and ice. A Secret Service agent would run up to the car, take the cup and go back to the station wagon (following the President's car). There another agent would refill it with ice, scotch, and soda as the first agent trotted behind the wagon. then the first agent would run the refilled cup up to LBJ's outstretched hand, as the President's car moved slowly forward." 60
  2. Don’t swallow in Utah! Wine used in wine tastings in Utah must not be swallowed! 37
  3. Adding a miniature onion to a martini turns it into a Gibson. 38
  4. The longest bar in the world is 684 feet (or about 208.5 meters) long and is located at the New Bulldog in Rock Island, Illinois. 39
  5. A drinking establishment is now located in the New York City building that once housed the National Temperance Society. 40
  6. A tequini is a martini made with tequila instead of dry gin. 41
  7. The body or lightness of whiskey is primarily determined by the size of the grain from which it is made; the larger the grain, the lighter the whiskey. For example, whiskey made from rye, with its small grain size, is bigger or fuller-bodied than is whiskey made from corn, with its large grain size. 42
  8. Each molecule of alcohol is less than a billionth of a meter long and consists of a few atoms of oxygen, carbon and hydrogen. 43
  9. Christopher Columbus brought Sherry on his voyage to the New World. 44
  10. As Magellan prepared to sail around the world in 1519, he spent more on Sherry than on weapons. 45
  11. Sixty-two percent of Americans report that they have used the service of a designated driver. 46
  12. The founder of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) no longer belongs to the organization. She resigned after it became increasingly anti-alcohol rather than simply anti-drunk-driving.
  13. Vassar College was established and funded by a brewer. 47
  14. Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected President of the U.S. in 1932 on a pledge to end National Prohibition. 48
  15. During World War II, reduction of consumption activists argued that soldiers should not be permitted to drink alcohol beverages. However, General George C. Marshall, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, insisted that such prohibition would be 'harmful to the men in the service." 49
  16. The consumption of alcohol was so widespread throughout history that it has been called "a universal language." 50
  17. Opposition to the enforcement of Prohibition increased as people became disillusioned with the Noble Experiment. Montana became the first state to repeal its enforcement of Prohibition, doing so in 1926 (Prohibition lasted from 1920 through 1933). 51
  18. Shochu, a beverage distilled from barley, was the favorite beverage of the world’s longest-living man, Shigechiyo Izumi of Japan, who lived for 120 years and 237 days. He was born on June 29, 1865 and died on February 21, 1986. 52
  19. The U.S. Marines’ first recruiting station was in a bar. 53
  20. Only 30% of adults in the U.S. believe that drinking can form part of a healthy, balanced life. This is in spite of the fact that moderate drinking is associated with better health and greater longevity than is abstention.
  21. Bourbon is the official spirit of the United States, by act of Congress. 54
  22. One glass of milk can give a person a .02 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) on a Breathalyzer test. That’s enough in some states for persons under age 21 to lose their drivers license and be fined. 55
  23. Letters from “increase alcohol taxes” can be used to spell “Alert: Halt excess excise taxes on alcohol.” Heavy taxes, which more than double the price of a typical bottle of whiskey, rum or other distilled spirits beverage, encourages the production and sale of dangerous bootleg alcohol.” 56
  24. Fermentation within the body is essential for human life to exist. 57
  25. At the request of a distiller, Louis Pasteur began his pioneering research by investigating the process of fermentation, by which all alcohol beverages and many other foods are produced. 58
  26. Fermentation is involved in the production of many foods, including bread (bread “rises” as it ferments), sauerkraut, coffee, black tea, cheese, yogurt, buttermilk, pickles, cottage cheese, chocolate, vanilla, ginger, catsup, mustard, soy sauce. and many more. 59
  27. Martha Washington enjoyed daily toddys. In the 1790s, "happy hour" began at 3:00 p.m. and cocktails continued until dinner. 36
  28. Tom Arnold, Sandra Bullock, Chevy Chase, Bill Cosby, Kris Kristofferson, and Bruce Willis are all former bartenders. 1
  29. Frederick the Great of Prussia tried to ban the consumption of coffee and demanded that the populace drink alcohol instead. 1
  30. President Lincoln, when informed that General Grant drank whiskey while leading his troops, reportedly replied "Find out the name of the brand so I can give it to my other generals." 2
  31. Being intoxicated had desirable spiritual significance to the ancient Egyptians. They often gave their children names like "How Drunk is Cheops" or "How Intoxicated is Hathor." 3a
  32. The Pilgrims landed at what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts, rather than continue sailing because they were running out of supplies, especially alcohol beverage. 3b
  33. The bill for a celebration party for the 55 drafters of the US Constitution was for 54 bottles of Madeira, 60 bottles of claret, 8 bottles of whiskey, 22 bottles of port, 8 bottles of hard cider, 12 beers and seven bowls of alcohol punch large enough that "ducks could swim in them." 4
  34. During the reign of William III, a garden fountain was once used as a giant punch bowl. The recipe included 560 gallons of brandy, 1200 pounds of sugar, 25,000 lemons, 20 gallons of lime juice, and five pounds of nutmeg. The bartender rowed around in a small boat, filling up guests' punch cups. 1
  35. The Manhattan cocktail (whiskey and sweet vermouth) was invented by Winston Churchill's mother. 5
  36. Desi Arnaz's grandfather was one of the founders of the largest rum distillery in the world. 1
  37. If a young Tiriki man offers beer to a woman and she spits some of it into his mouth, they are engaged to be married. Hmmmmm.....that makes the single life seem a little more attractive. 6
  38. Among the Bagonda people of Uganda, the several widows of a recently deceased king have the distinctive honor of drinking the beer in which his entrails have been cleaned. 7
  39. Alcohol is considered the only proper payment for teachers among the Lepcha people of Tibet. 8
  40. The Chagga people of Tanganyika believe that a liar will be poisoned if he or she consumes beer mixed with the blood of a recently sacrificed goat. 9
  41. Beer is mixed with saliva and blood for a drink that is shared when two Chagga men become blood brothers. 10
  42. The national anthem of the US, the "Star-Spangled Banner," was written to the tune of a drinking song. 2.1
  43. The shallow champagne glass originated with Marie Antoinette. It was first formed from wax molds made of her breasts. 2.2
  44. Beer was not sold in bottles until 1850; it was not sold in cans until 1935. 2.3
  45. In the 1600's thermometers were filled with brandy instead of mercury. 2.4
  46. A raisin dropped into a glass of champagne will repeatedly bounce up and down between the top and the bottom of the glass. 2.5
  47. As late as the mid-17th century, the French wine makers did not use corks. Instead, they used oil-soaked rags stuffed into the necks of bottles. 2.6
  48. The corkscrew was invented in 1860. 2.7
  49. The longest recorded champagne cork flight was 177 feet and 9 inches, four feet from level ground at Woodbury Vineyards in New York State. 2.8
  50. In the 1800's, rum was considered excellent for cleaning hair and keeping it healthy. Brandy was believed to strengthen hair roots. 2.9
  51. The purpose of the indentation at the bottom of a wine bottle is to strengthen the structure of the bottle. 2.10
  52. In the U.S., a barrel of beer contains 31 gallons, which is equivalent to about 330 twelve-ounce bottles or cans. 2.11
  53. Bubbles in Champagne were seen by early wine makers as a highly undesirable defect to be prevented. 3.1
  54. Liquor stores in the US are called "package stores" and sell "package goods" because of laws requiring that alcohol containers be concealed in public by being placed in paper bags or "packages." 3.2
  55. Methyphobia is fear of alcohol. 3.3
  56. The term "brand name" originated among American distillers, who branded their names and emblems on their kegs before shipment. 3.4
  57. The region of the U.S. that consumes the least alcohol (commonly known as the "Bible belt") is also known by many doctors as Stroke Alley. 3.5
  58. In ancient Babylon, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead (fermented honey beverage) he could drink for a month after the wedding. Because their calendar was lunar or moon-based, this period of free mead was called the "honey month," or what we now call the "honeymoon." 3.6
  59. Before thermometers were invented, brewers would dip a thumb or finger into the liquid to determine the ideal temperature, neither too hot nor too cold, for adding yeast. From this we get the phrase "rule of thumb." 3.7
  60. Dipsomania refers to an abnormal or insatiable craving for alcohol. 3.8
  61. In old England, a whistle was baked into the rim or handle of ceramic cups used by pub patrons. When they wanted a refill, they used the whistle to get service. So when people went drinking, they would "wet their whistle." 3.9
  62. "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" is commonly believed to be the only English sentence devised to include all the letters of the alphabet. However, typesetters have another such sentence: "Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs."
  63. The word "toast," meaning a wish of good health, started in ancient Rome, where a piece of toasted bread was dropped into wine. 3.10
  64. In English pubs drinks are served in pints and quarts. In old England, bartenders would advise unruly customers to mind their own pints and quarts. It's the origin of "mind your P's and Q's." 3.11
  65. Do you like isyammitilka or ksikonewiw? Those are the words for alcohol beverage among the Alabama and the Maliseet-Passamaquoddy tribes of Native American peoples. 3.12
  66. Alcohol consumption decreases during the time of the full moon. 4.1
  67. Drinking lowers rather than raises the body temperature. There is an illusion of increased heat because alcohol causes the capillaries to dilate and fill with more warm blood. 4.2
  68. Rhode Island never ratified the 18 Amendment establishing Prohibition. 4.3
  69. "Whiskey" is the international aviation word used to represent the letter "w." 4.4
  70. Most vegetable, and virtually all fruit juices, contain alcohol. 4.5
  71. There are 83 dry towns and villages in Alaska. 4.6
  72. In West Virginia, bars can advertise alcohol beverage prices, but not brand names. 4.7
  73. There is a cloud of alcohol in outer space with enough alcohol to make four trillion-trillion drinks. It's free for the taking. . . but it's 10,000 light years away from Earth. 4.8
  74. The Mayflower, well-known for bringing the Pilgrims to the New World, ordinarily transported alcohol beverage between Spain and England. 4.9
  75. Wine has about the same number of calories as an equal amount of grape juice. 4.10
  76. Johnny Appleseed probably distributed apple seeds across the American frontier so that people could make fermented apple juice ("hard" cider) rather than eat apples. 4.11
  77. White wine gets darker as it ages while red wine gets lighter. 4.12
  78. "There's no free lunch." Pennsylvania outlawed free lunches in 1917 to prevent taverns from giving free sandwiches to customers who bought beer to drink with them. This led some shop keepers to sell sandwiches and give away the beer. 4.13
  79. During World War II, a group of alpine soldiers who were stranded in mountain snows survived for an entire month on nothing but a cask of sherry. 4.14
  80. White lightning is a name for illegally-distilled spirits. All spirits are clear or "white" until aged in charred oak barrels. Moonshiners skip the aging process to reduce risk of arrest, hence the name of their product. Moonshining is profitable because the taxes on legally-produced spirits are so high.
  81. It is estimated that the federal government takes in 14 times more in taxes on distilled spirits than producers of the products earn making them. That does not include what states and localities additionally take in taxes on the same products. 4.14a
  82. President Jimmy Carter's mother said "I'm a Christian, but that doesn't mean I'm a long-faced square. I like a little bourbon." 4.15
  83. President Thomas Jefferson was the new U.S nation's first wine expert. 4.16
  84. It's impossible to create a beverage of over 18% alcohol by fermentation alone. 4.17
  85. Temperance activists, who strongly opposed the consumption of alcohol, typically consumed patent medicines that, just like whiskey, generally contained 40% alcohol! 4.18
  86. In Malaysia, drunk drivers are jailed and so are their spouses. 4.19
  87. Spectators at Indy car races consume more blush wine than the average American, according to interviews of 200,000 adults in the top 75 markets. The inteviews also found that golfers drink domestic beer 64% more often than imported beer and that attendees of R&B, rap or hip-hop concerts are 94% more likely than the average person to drink champagne. 5
  88. The word "liquor" is prohibited on storefronts in some states of the U.S. 12
  89. Letters from “drink to your health” can be used to spell “ideal heart diet.” Drinking alcohol in moderation reduces the risk of heart disease by an average of about 40%. 13
  90. Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president of the US, stated that "It has long been recognized that the problems with alcohol relate not to the use of a bad thing, but to the abuse of a good thing." 14
  91. Beer and Bras. British men have been found twice as likely to know the price of their beer as their partner's bra size. A poll reported in Britain's Prima magazine found that 77% of males knew how much their beer costs but only 38% knew the correct size of ther mate's bra. 15
  92. Sucking on pennies will have no affect on the results of a breathalyzer test. (Therefore, doing so makes no cents!) 16
  93. A labeorphilist is a collector of beer bottles.
  94. Between 1980 and 1996, over 2,300 anti-drunk-driving laws were passed in the U.S. If laws could solve a problem, there wouldn't be any drunk driving today! 17
  95. Like to open a restaurant? Expect to pay over $35,000 for a restaurant liquor license in Philadelphia. Although that's expensive, it's a bargain compared to obtaining one in Evesham Township (New Jersey) at over $475,000 or one in Mount Laurel (New Jersey) at over $675,000. No wonder restaurants have such a high failure rate. 18
  96. Shakespeare referred (in Love's Labour Lost, Act 5, Scent 1) to a game called "flap-dragon," in which the players snatched raisins from a dish of burning brandy and extinguished them in their mouths before eating them. 19
  97. When re-arranged, the letters in "whiskey" spell "key wish," those in "spirits" spell "sip it sir," and those in "moonshine" spell "in no homes."
  98. One brand of Chinese beer reportedly includes in its recipe "ground-up dog parts." Make mine gin and tonic! 20
  99. In Bangladesh, $5 will buy a beer or a first-class train ticket for a cross-country trip. 21
  100. One or two alcohol drinks a day can be anti-inflammatory. (Of course, always consult your physician for medical advice.) 22
  101. The average number of grapes it takes to make a bottle of wine is 600. 23
  102. Gin and tonic can help relieve cramps. (Be sure to consult your physician for medical advice.) 24
  103. Move over, Mickey. Napa valley has replaced Disneyland as California's number one trourist destination, with 5.5 million visitors per year. 25
  104. Paul Domenech, 34, was arrested for drunk driving, but was found innocent of the charge when he proved before a jury in Tampa, Florida, that the alcohol officers had smelled on his breath was from the mixture of rubbing alcohol and gasoline that he had just used in his performance as a professional fire-breather. Don't try using this excuse. Better yet, don't drink and drive. 26
  105. The largest cork tree in the world is in Portugal. It averages over one ton of raw cork per harvest. That's enough to cork 100,000 bottles. 27
  106. The Soviet Bolsheviks (communists) were strict drys and quickly imposed national prohibition following the Russian Revolution. 28
  107. The pressure in a bottle of champagne is about 90 pounds per square inch. That's about three times the pressure in automobile tires. 29
  108. The soil of one famous vineyard in France is considered so precious that vineyard workers are required to scrape it from their shoes before they leave for home each night. 30
  109. Gin is a mild diuretic which helps the body get rid of excessive fluid. Thus, it can reduce problems such as menstrual bloating. (This isn't medical advice, which should always be obtained from one's physician.) 31
  110. The Grinch That Drank Alcohol. Theodore Geisel (better known as Dr. Seus) was caught with alcohol in his room when he was a student at Dartmouth College and severely punished. Years later, the college awarded him an honorary doctorate. 32
  111. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) claims credit for more than 2,300 drunk driving and other alcohol-related laws in the U.S. 33
  112. Adolf Hitler was one of the world's best known teetotalers or abstainers from alcohol; his adversary during WW II, Sir Winston Churchill, was one of the world's best known heavy drinkers. 34
  113. The favorite cocktails of several former Presidents are reported to include:
    - Gin and tonic (Gerald Ford)
    - Martini (Herbert Hoover)
    - Rum and coke (Richard Nixon)
    - Scotch or brandy (Franklin Roosevelt)
    - Bourbon (Harry Truman) 35
  114. Abraham Lincoln's 1833 liquor store license is on display in the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History in Bardstown, Kentucky. 61
  115. When breathalyzers (blood alcohol content estimators) were first introduced, the maximum legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was .15, or almost twice as high as the current standard of .08. 62
  116. National Prohibition led to a boom in the cruise industry. By taking what were advertised as "cruises to nowhere," people could legally consume alcohol as soon as the ship entered international waters where they would typically cruise in circles. The cruises quickly became known as "booze cruises." 63
References and Readings

filed under: Fun Facts

This site does not dispense medical, legal, or any other advice and none should be inferred.
For more fine print, read the disclaimer.