Alcohol and Drinking in American Life and Culture

Making, distributing and drinking alcohol have been called as American as apple pie. Actually, these activities may be more American than apple pie because they existed in America long before apples were introduced from Europe. Indeed, Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman) apparently supplied the need of settlers for apples primarily to make hard (alcoholic) cider.1

There are many examples of the major role of alcohol beverages in American life and history from the very beginning:

Favorite Presidential Alcoholic Drinks

The favorite alcoholic drinks of Presidents of the United States are reported to include:

Very few presidents have been teetotalers, although George W. Bush became one long before his presidency. Although most presidents are known to have consumed alcohol, their specific alcoholic beverage preferences are unknown.

American Whiskey Trail

The American Whiskey Trail highlights the important and fascinating role distilled spirits beverages have played in American history from the Colonial era to the Whiskey Rebellion through Prohibition and into contemporary society.

Frommers rated the American Whiskey Trail one of the top 13 international and domestic travel destinations in a recent year from nominations submitted by travel editors and authors.

"We picked the American Whiskey Trail because it highlights a fascinating-- but an often overlooked and still ongoing -- part of U.S. history," said Frommer's Editorial Director. "Points along the trail make prime destinations for a leisurely road trip in some of the most charming parts of the country."53

Probably the most popular destination on the American Whiskey Trail is George Washington's distillery at Mount Vernon in Virginia. George Washington was the new country's first large distiller and his reconstructed distillery demonstrates the complete distilling process. Other points on the trail are located in a number of states as well as in the Caribbean.

 

Resources

  • 1. Elliott, P.T. 100 Proof: Tips and Tales for Spirited Drinkers Everywhere. New York: Penguin, 2000, p. 13.
  • 2. The History of Drinking: Uncorking the Past. The Economist, December 22, 2001, p. 30.
  • 3. Royce, James E. Alcohol Problems: A Comprehensive Survey. New York: Free Press, 1981, 38.
  • 4. Mendelson, Jack H. and Mello, Nancy K. Alcohol: Use and Abuse in America. Boston, Massachusetts: Little, Brown & Co., 1985.
  • 5. The First Thanksgiving. The Community Trader, Manchester, NY, Nov.,1988.
  • 6. Grimes, William. Straight Up or On the Rocks: A Cultural History of American Drink. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993, pp. 44-45. 
  • 7. Krout, John A. The Origins of Prohibition. New York: Knopf, 1925, p. 44.
  • 8. Furnas, J. C. The Life and Times of the Late Demon Rum. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1965, p. 20.
  • 9. Prendergast, Michael L. A History of Alcohol Problem Prevention Efforts in the United States. In: Holder, Harold D. (Ed.) Control Issues in Alcohol Abuse Prevention: Strategies for States and Communities. Greenwich, Connecticut: JAI Press, 1987, pp. 25-52.
  • 10. Prendergast, Michael L. A History of Alcohol Problem Prevention Efforts in the United States. In: Holder, Harold D. (Ed.) Control Issues in Alcohol Abuse Prevention: Strategies for States and Communities. Greenwich, Connecticut: JAI Press, 1987, p. 27.
  • 11. Prendergast, Michael L. A History of Alcohol Problem Prevention Efforts in the United States. In: Holder, Harold D. (Ed.) Control Issues in Alcohol Abuse Prevention: Strategies for States and Communities. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press, 1987, pp. 25-52.
  • 12. Goode, Erich. Drugs in American Society. Boston, Massachusetts: McGraw-Hill, 1999, p. 182.
  • 13. Barr, A. Drink: A Social History of America. New York: Carroll & Graf,1999, p. 370.
  • 14. Burns, Eric. The Spirit of America: A Social History of Alcohol. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 2004, p. 182.
  • 15. Burns, Eric. The Spirit of America: A Social History of Alcohol. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 2004, p. 214.
  • 16. Funtrivia.com website.
  • 17. Burns, Eric. The Spirit of America: A Social History of Alcohol. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 2004, p. 27.
  • 18. Burns, Eric. The Spirit of America: A Social History of Alcohol. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 2004, p. 26.
  • 19. Roueche, Berton. Alcohol in Human Culture. In: Lucia, Salvatore P. (Ed.) Alcohol and Civilization New York: McGraw-Hill, 1963 pp. 167-182.
  • 20. Duane Flint, U.S. Marine Corps, personal communication.
  • 21. Head, Thomas. First in war, first in peace, first in whiskey: George Washington as distiller. Southern Folkways Alliance, June 14, 2005; Eisele, Albert. Resurrecting George Washington's booze. The Hill, June 9, 2005.
  • 22. Haught, R.L. Distilling the truth about George. Oklahoman, 2-20-03.
  • 23. Lender, Mark E. and Martin, James K. Drinking in America. New York: Free Press, 1982, p. 6.
  • 24. Boyd, Steven R. The Whiskey Rebellion: Past and Present Perspectives. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1985.
  • 25. Mingo, J., and Barrett, E. Just Curious, Jeeves. Emeryville, California: Ask Jeeves, 2000, p. 265.
  • 26. Clark, N. H. Deliver Us From Evil: An Interpretation of American Prohibition. New York: Norton, 1976, p. 20; Asbury, Herbert. The Great Illusion: An Informal History of Prohibition.New York: Greenwood Press, 1968 (originally published 1950); Rorabaugh, W. J. The Alcoholic Republic. New York: Oxford University Press, 1979, Appendix 1.
  • 27. Cowdery, Charles K. Abraham Lincoln, Bourbon Country's Native Son. The Bourbon Country Reader, 1988, 3 (6), p. 1.
  • 28. Burns, Eric. The Spirit of America: A Social History of Alcohol. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 2004, p. 27.
  • 29. Yenne, B., and Debolski, T. The Ultimate Book of Beer Trivia. San Mateo, CA: Bluewood, 1994, pp. 83-84.
  • 30. Defining "Bourbon." The State (Columbia, SC), 5-1-02, p. D1.
  • 31. Put it on Washington's tab. History House website.
  • 32. Hard apple cider: a history. Essortment website.
  • 33. Thomas Jerferson. Food Timeline website.
  • 34. James Madison. Food Timeline website.
  • 35. The White House. William Henry Harrison. The White House website.
  • 36. John Tyler. Food Timeline website.
  • 37. Hansen, Christine. White House happy hours: What do our presidentd drink? Slashfood.com website, February 21, 2011.
  • 38. Carson, Gerald. The Social History of Bourbon: An Unhurried Account of Our Star-Spangled American Drink. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1963.
  • 39. Boller, Paul F. Jr. Presidential Anecdotes. New York: Oxford University Press, 1981, p. 178.
  • 40. Theodore Roosevelt. Food timeline website.
  • 41. That cocktail controversy. New York Times. September 24, 1911.
  • 42. The spirit of Washington. Elk Grove Citizen, 2-19-03.
  • 43. The spirit of Washington. Elk Grove Citizen, 2-19-03.
  • 44. The spirit of Washington. Elk Grove Citizen, 2-19-03.
  • 45. National Park Service. Eisenhower National historic Sitewebsite.
  • 46. Carson, Gerald. The Social History of Bourbon: An Unhurried Account of Our Star-Spangled American Drink. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1963. 
  • 47. Joseph A. Califano, Jr., quoted in Presidential Vehicles. National Park service website.
  • 48. The spirit of Washington. Elk Grove Citizen, 2-19-03.
  • 49. The spirit of Washington. Elk Grove Citizen, 2-19-03.
  • 50. Bumgarner, John R. The Health of the Presidents: The 41 United States Presidents Through 1993 from a Physician's Point of View. Jefferson, NC: MacFarland & Company, 1994, p. 282.
  • 51. Presidential cocktails. Suite 101.com website.52 Parnes, Aime. What and when President Obama likes to drink. Politico, 7/17/09
  • 53. Frommer's names American Whiskey Trail top tourist destination for 2008. PRNewswire, March 26, 2008.

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