Posts Tagged ‘prohibition’

How the Founding Fathers Got Drunk Part III: Apples

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

Today we usually think of apple cider as a wholesome children’s drink, but for most of the past thousand years, cider often contained as much alcohol as beer.  Thanks to wild yeast present in the air, the natural sugar in apple juice begins to ferment (turn to alcohol) within a few days after the juice is pressed from the apples and it will continue to ferment until something (such as cold temperature) is introduced to stop the  process.Kate Dolan explores the history of hard cider  Before the days of widespread refrigeration, sweet or non-alcoholic apple cider had a very short shelf life.  But hard cider would last long enough to bottle and store for a year or more.

Evidence suggests that the English were turning the juice of crab apples sweetened with honey into intoxicating beverages even before the Norman conquerors brought over sweeter apple varieties from France and forced the natives to grow them.  (more…)

Goodbye Saloons, Hello Cocktails: Prohibition causes more problems than it solves

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

The Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified on this day in 1919, marking the end of one era and the beginning of another. Outlawing the “manufacture, sale and transportation of intoxicating liquors,” the amendment represented a victory for those in the temperance movement who believed many of society’s evils could be traced to the prevalence of alcoholic beverages.Kate Dolan writes about the prohibition era

There were more saloons than schools, hospitals, libraries parks or churches. Beer drinking was so popular that by 1910, the annual per capita consumption had risen to 21 gallons, with those prone to violence tending to drink more than their fair share of that average. So how was the ban on intoxicating beverages passed by Congress and ratified by the states so rapidly? World War I played a large role. The majority of brewers and a great percentage of beer drinkers were of German descent, and even though the companies might now be run by second and third generation Americans, prohibition supporters gained a lot of ground by arguing that it was unpatriotic to support the beer industry.

But while the old saloons closed and the word virtually disappeared from our language, inebriation did not. It just became more dangerous. (more…)