Tag Archives: Booze Fact of the Day

Ancestral Beer

Since beer is a mixture mashed up grain, sugar, and yeast it comes out opaque and hazy. Some beers are meant to stay hazy, while some beers are clarified.

There are many different ways of dialing down the haze-level on beer. Guiness uses a specific fish’s bladder—ground into a powder—to clarify their beer. Mechanical filtration can be used, and so can charcoal.

In remote parts of Central/South America (where women brew beer by first chewing & spitting out the grain) ashes of their ancestors are added to the fermentation pot to keep out the spirits of the dead—which happens make to for a clarified beer.

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An Ambergris Alternative?

Compounding (or mixing) alcohol with a vast array of chemicals is how people during Prohibition took Everclear and ended up making something that would look and taste somewhat like whiskey, for instance.

During prohibition Compounding took place to illegally produce liquor look/taste-a-likes. However, humans have been compounding alcohol with thousands of ingredients for thousands of years to create new and different liquors.

‘Ambergris’ is a grey waxy substance produced in the digestive tract of sperm whales, and it used to be used to flavor Brandy.

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Coca-Vino

I bet you know that America’s nation-wide Prohibition banned the sale and transportation of alcohol from 1920-1933. But, did you know that small parts of the country opted to go dry many decades before that?

In once such locale: Atlanta, Georgia voted to go dry in 1885. Before this happened Red Wine mixed with Cocaine had been a popular drink both in America and Europe.

Coke-a-Cola began in 1886. It’s inventor mixed Cola-syrup with Cocaine after a local Prohibition ordinance in Atlanta, Georgia banned alcohol.

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Counterfeit Champagne

Wine has been counterfeited for so long that Pliny the Elder once complained about forgeries of Roman wines. This summer a champagne counterfeiting ring in Spain was busted with $1.7 million.

Americans started counterfeiting champagne even before the Revolutionary War. It is much cheaper to make something that resembles French bubly than it is to import it on sailing ships.

Depending on the quality level for which they were aiming, our forefathers counterfeited champagne with everything from Apple to Beet Juice.

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Sangaree

  • 4.0 oz.- Port Wine
  • 1.0 tsp- Sugar

Once again, Monday’s recipe post centers around old-timey medicinal advice. What’s different about this week’s post is that I actually can endorse this one: Sangaree is not for infants.

In 1830 The Journal of Health urges people to stop giving Sangaree to infants.

Fill tumbler 2/3 with ice, shake well, and strain into a glass without ice. Grate nutmeg over top.

Source: Imbibe! by David Wondrich

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