Skip to comments.What Would John Adams Drink?
Posted on 03/01/2013 8:32:32 AM PST by Sir Napsalot
..... A thirsty American colonist had limited beverage options. For everyone but the lucky few who lived near a natural spring or fast-running stream, water was often contaminated, sometimes deadly, and always unpalatable. Milk in those days was seen merely as a precursor to cream, cheese, and butter. Alcohol wasn't an indulgence; it was what we drank. It was hygienic: Even at relatively low concentrations, alcohol kills most pathogens. And, according to the prevailing view at the time, it fortified the body against illness and the backbreaking labor of subduing a wild country.
But the colonists had trouble procuring alcohol. English barley and hopsa crucial beer preservativedidn't grow well in their new environment. Vineyards failed from New England to Georgia, and native grapes made terrible wine. Importing heavy casks from Europe was expensive. Distilled spirits, particularly rum and whiskey, would eventually catch on, but much of the population feared their potency.
Some colonists employed their famous ingenuity in an effort to develop more sustainable alternatives. George Washington brewed with inexpensive imported molasses, and Benjamin Franklin tried spruce. Others attempted pumpkin-, parsnip-, and corn-based beers. None of these alternatives satisfied. .....
During the 18th century, Americans realized that the prolific, hardy apple treewhich arrived from England in 1623offered a solution to their drinking dilemma. In 1767, the average Massachusetts resident drank 35 gallons of cider. (That includes children, who sipped a slightly weaker version called ciderkin.) John Adams drank a tankard of cider nearly every morning of his life. Cider was supplied to our nascent army and is credited with helping our soldiers defeat the British (hooray!) and conquer the Indians (oops). By the end of the century, apple orchards blanketed the American landscape.
(Excerpt) Read more at slate.com ...
Dos Equis. Stay thirsty my friend.
Sam Adams, of course! Keep it in the family!
Apparently the colonists didn't know about wells.
Also, a “fast-running stream” can be highly polluted.
We like a little hard cidey once in awhile ourselves. Its ridiculously easy to brew.
Ah, Sam Adams.... the gateway drug to my craft-brew addiction. :)
After a harvesting party (when neighbors would come to their farm to help with harvesting his crop) they would tap a barrel of cider and all of the men folk would become quite drunk. Apparently my grandmother was never very happy about this tradition.
They had a orchard with apples, peaches, Blackberries and pears. All that was left by the time I can remember is one blackberry tree and one apple tree (used for pie). Unfortunately their skill in making cider died with my grandfather.
And a picture of a small class of finished Hard Cider. I prefer to make my cider to be a Sparkling Cider. It just tastes better to me.
I can't stand commercial cider today. It's all watered down and weak. Even the stuff you find in rural areas is watered down from the water that clings to the skin when they wash them or float them to the hopper.
Our cider never lived long enough to get very hard.
My bet would be arsenic.
Here in Western Pennsylvania we tried to supply all yinz with whiskey. But true to form the Feds slapped a heavy tax on it and then sent in the jackboots with guns.
Rye whiskey was very popular during that time period and I have acquired the taste recently - has an almost peppermint quality compared to burboun
Josh Randall, in “The Bounty Hunter”, was partial to Rye whiskey.
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Thanks Sir Napsalot.