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49

Rum was easily obtained in the sugarcane rich Caribbean and olden day South Seas Pirates, who would drink anything they could get their hands on if it had a kick, were associated with the drinking of rum. So, while they would drink other forms of liquor if they could obtain it, the average Pirate crew member drank what he could afford, and that's what made ...


45

In the UK, the 1872 Licencing Act made it an offence to be: ... drunk while in charge on any highway or other public place of any carriage, horse, cattle, or steam engine, or who is drunk when in possession of any loaded firearms, ... I understand that parts of that Act remain in force.


34

Well alcohol does have a strong anti-bacterial effect,and adding water to wine was a way to create more drink as there was very little clean drinking water. During the fermentation process many microbes die, eventually the yeast too dies in the anaerobic environment. I think adding water to wine and letting the two mix for a while would kill a significant ...


34

Yes. Residue analysis has found chemical signatures consistent with the presence of honey, and organic compounds associated with fermentation suggesting that mead was being drunk by the late Neolithic / early Bronze Age "Beaker peoples" in Britain and northern Europe. If you want more details of the processes involved, and the nature of the evidence, and ...


27

Historical evidence suggests, and I am writing from the wiki article of origin of Rum, that during the late 16th and early 17th century, sugarcane plantation slaves in the Caribbean islands discovered a byproduct of sugar-making i.e. Molasses can be converted to an alcoholic beverage. After fine tuning the distillation process they produced the refined Rum. ...


26

They probably got away with it because it was not illegal to drink alcohol. In fact, the Prohibition outlawed only the "manufacture, sale, or transportation" of alcoholic drinks. No mention of consumption, which remained substantial (~50-80% of "normal"), was made in the Prohibition amendment. After one year from the ratification of this article the ...


24

According to this well sourced article, wine was diluted to reduce its strength, in order to avoid over-inebriation. Those who did not drink it diluted were seen as barbaric, uncultured, or besotted. There are claims on wikipedia and other online sources that the ancients drank diluted wine or small-beer to avoid water-borne illness, but I can't seem to ...


23

"Causing bodily harm by wanton or furious driving" (whether drunk or not) was made illegal by the Offences against the Person Act 1861. It is interpreted as applying to: drivers of horse-drawn carriages and vehicles motorists who cannot be prosecuted for dangerous driving because they were driving elsewhere than on a road or public place [...] ...


19

Interesting question, you could've found the answer just like I did from a search. Rum took its place in the ships due to its availability, shelf life, and cost. Check the links for detailed information, I am quoting only relevant information in this answer. Shelf-life: Rum lasts longer than beer or wine, this means it lasted throughout their expedition ...


17

Origins and availability or the drink aside (this was covered by Rico and the Major already)... life on a sailing ship was hard. Especially ships prepared for combat -- like a navy's warships -- had large crews, which made for very cramped living and no privacy. The work aboard was hard and dangerous, and that's before the guns were run out to engage an ...


16

The Oxford English Dictionary attests the use of cock-tail as a mixed drink from 1809 in W. Irving's Knickerbockers: They lay claim to claim to be the first inventors of those recondite beverages cock-tail, stone-fence, and sherry-cobbler. and from 1839 cocktail as a more general mixed drink in Marryat's Diary American: He frequents the bar, calls for ...


13

We drink champagne on New Year's in large part due to savvy marketing in the late 19th century. At first, royal favor made champagne an easy sell to the nobility. But with the rise of industrialization in the 19th century, the nobles were no longer guaranteed to be the wealthiest consumers. Champagne producers dangled their products in front of the ...


12

Basically it was an unenforceable law, and much of law enforcement saw no need to bother trying. There are several factors you have to consider here: Prohibition was never really that popular. In fact, its likely that a majority of the country was against it when it passed. Prohibition was particularly unpopular in large cities. The above factors meant ...


11

Short Answer: The modern cocktail--as defined by OP as including sweetener, ice, and decorations--predated Prohibition. While Prohibition-era bartenders did need to mask bad liquor, these techniques were not influential because they were only necessary in the presence of bad liquor. The long-term effect of Prohibition was to introduce American bartenders to ...


11

The way that the question is framed is laced with quite modern conceptions of "abuse" and "drugs" that would be completely incomprehensible for earlier people. Yet the word 'drug' was not always so closely linked in the public mind with substance abuse. The definition of the noun drug in volume III (published in 1897) of original edition of the Oxford ...


10

The code of Hammurabi included laws regulating beer and beer parlours and it dates back to about 1754 BC, indicating that beer parlours and the commerce of beer were already common at that point. Taverns were also common in the Roman Empire. However with the fall of the Western Roman Empire they seem to have somewhat faded into the background. Wine was too ...


10

Mead was the alcoholic drink of northern Europe, particularly "Celtic" northern Europe, e.g. the British Isles and northern France. It also figures prominently in the literature of the Scandinavians. This drink was made from honey rather than grapes, unlike Roman wine. Recent archaeological research suggests that "beakers" for producing mead (or its ...


9

I don't have a particular source for this, but I remember my high school Latin teacher telling us that Roman wine was more like a strong, thick concentrate much stronger than the wine we drink today, intended to be diluted before drinking. Think like those 100% berry juices you can buy at health food stores in the US, that are undrinkably tart without adding ...


8

Rum was an important article of trade in the Caribbean because of the sugar trade. Rum is the fermented distillate of molasses. During the age of exploration, molasses was normal product of sugar cane plantations because it is relatively easy to concentrate sugar cane to molasses. The molasses can then be converted to an even more valuable and concentrated ...


7

A high demand for alcohol provided an economic incentive to those willing to break or circumvent the laws. The only problem was somehow breaking or circumventing the laws. The wikipedia article on alcohol during and after prohibition cites portable stills as going on sale within a week after prohibition went into effect and California grape growers as ...


7

I came across this question today, and saw that JMVanPelt in his answer mentioned a Dutch book for which no English translation was available. I have translated the relevant parts of it below. I have tried to stay as close as possible to the original phrasing. Below, all emphasis is as in the original, comments between round brackets are also in the original,...


7

Some more info to complement what @PieterGeerkens has found: there's a very scholarly work on the subject on Google Books, Het Bier-oproer te Leeuwarden, in het jaar 1487, in zijne oorzaken en gevolgen by Jacob Dirks; sadly (for me), it's in Dutch and several passages are in Old Dutch or Frisian. But more or less, from what I managed to understand from ...


7

While the veracity of this site on the history of crime may be doubtful, it appears to be the only easily located English-language source The ban was put in place to protect sales of local suds in the city. All beer from outside the city, including that from Friesland’s biggest city, Haarlem, was banned. But despite this, one innkeeper kept ...


7

One example, which I heard about in Dan Carlin's Hardcore History podcast (disclaimer, he's not a historian and sometimes prefers good story telling to historical accuracy and uncertainty), is from the siege of Münster (Germany, not Ireland) in 1534. The story goes that the Prince-Bishop leading the siege planned to attack at sunrise on the morning of the ...


7

It is well known that Russian front line troops were given 100 gram of vodka daily. Sometimes this norm was doubled. This was introduced by Stalin's personal order during the Finnish war 1940, and the order remained in force for the Soviet-German war. This resulted in many cases of alcoholism among the Soviet soldiers. The details can be found in Russian ...


7

Horn. The drinking horn, known for centuries , was documented in use in several Viking era sagas such as the Prose Edda and Beowulf. from wikipedia: Horn fragments of Viking Age drinking horns are only rarely preserved, showing that both cattle and goat horns were in use, but the number of decorative metal horn terminals and horn mounts recovered ...


7

I believe there's two questions here: what is the earliest use of "aqua vitae" and when did it become synonymous with "distilled spirits". I'm going to answer the latter, when did "aqua vitae" become synonymous with "distilled spirits". The French "eau de vie", Gaelic "uisce betha", Scandinavian "akvavit", and so on, all have their roots in the Latin "aqua ...


6

There is a terrific site, Legends Of America. It goes into pretty good detail about the history of the Old West, including noted people and vices. In its discussion about the real Gem Saloon of Deadwood, South Dakota, owned and operated by Al Swearengen (made famous in HBO's Deadwood), it mentions that In the front of the theater were a bar and many seat ...


6

It is rumoured that on the evening of June 15, 1815, Marechal Ney may have enjoyed too much of M. Dumont's Burgundy in Gosselies, and that his late start to Quatre Bras the following morning may be in consequence: According to local tradition Ney's first care was to have a bed prepared 'with two or three mattresses'. Then he proceeded to do honour to his ...


5

Whist adding wine to water even in small quantities does help to purify it, I don't believe that this was a primary motivation. The water used would most probably have been finest spring water anyway or occasionally sea water. Wine with added water is more refreshing and it also doesn't give as much of a hangover. Roman sources are forever talking about good ...


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