Favorite Civil War whiskey?

FedericoFCavada

First Sergeant
Joined
Jan 27, 2015
Location
San Antonio, Texas
I always thought of Madeira as a cooking wine... Until I tried some real-deal sippin' Bual Madeira. So I could see why the upper crust at the time of the American Revolution were fans of the imported stuff.

My Scots ancestors and roots go back to the Lowlands, specifically Fife, so I've long thought I should be partial to Glenkinchie from the Lothians or the implausibly named Daftmill from Cupar in the Kingdom. Truth be told, I do like a nip of Islay now and then, particularly Bunnahabhain... There is some excellent Irish whisky too... I'll keep top eye out for this here discussed "Fightin' 69th" for sure.

I'm mostly an imbiber of fermented beverages over those that are distilled, and I do greatly enjoy brewing my own beer.
 

7thWisconsin

Sergeant Major
Joined
Nov 21, 2014
Cider
Rorabaugh, 110-113:

"During the early nineteenth century whiskey's only rival as the national beverage came from apple orchards. Trees planted on farms in Virginia, Pennsylvania, parts of Ohio and New York, and throughout New England produced a glut of apples... Erie Canal this fruit was 'floating away on the Water;' in eastern Ohio apples lay 'so thick that at every step you must tread upon them.' ... apples had such little value that they were usually free for the picking... farmers pressed their fruit on wooden frames that stood in nearly every orchard. In contrast with brewing, which required substantial capital, skilled labor, and a local, densely populated market, cider making was so easy, cheap, and low skilled that a farmer could afford to press apples strictly for family use. ... little was drunk in the South or in the cities. ... [half the price of beer in Pittsburgh, where cider was considered expensive...] ... to avoid spoilage it was fortified with distilled spirits until it contained at least 10 percent alcohol, twice as much as beer. ... The rural North loved cider. The beverage was 'omnipresent,' with a pitcher on every table and a jug in every field. During the winter, a typical New England family could be expected to consume a barrel a week. So prevalent was cider that it became a symbol of egalitarianism as the 'common drink of ... rich and poor alike.' ... As we have seen [in the early 19th century Republic, e.g 1830s] water was usually of poor quality, milk often scarce or unsafe, and coffee, tea, and wine imported and expensive. ... But why, when they had the choice, did Americans drink cider or whiskey rather than beer, which was also a domestic product and comparatively cheap? ... Americans preferred cider and whiskey because those drinks contained more alcohol than beer, which was too weak for American taste. ... The taste for strong drink was no doubt enhanced by the monotony of the American diet, which was dominated by corn. ... It appeared on the table three times a day as fried johnny cakes or corn bread, Indian pudding with milk and sugar, or the ubiquitous corn mush. ... Corn was also fed to the hogs, and the hog meat was eaten in the form of salt pork, smoked ham, and lard. Each day, it was calculated, the typical adult American ate a pound of bread, most often made with corn meal, and a pound of meat, usually salt pork."
I think part of the appeal of strong drink is that it doesn´t require cooling or refrigeration. The alcohol content makes it taste cooler, even if it´s at room temp. It´s also easy to store, with a long shelf life.
 
Joined
Feb 6, 2017
Location
Edinburgh, Scotland
As a Scot who has lived all my life in Edinburgh, Capital of Scotland, May I point out that we drink here the finest distilled drink on God’s earth and it is called 🥃 WHISKY. We don’t drink Whiskey, that’s what our friends the Irish drink. No one in Scotland calls it “Scotch” despite that word being on the label of the bottle.
It is my favourite tipple, especially a bottle of Single Malt Whisky.
Just thought I’d clear this up as it’s a common error made by many, many people.
Finally, we never put ice in our whisky. It’s just wrong and would make our ancestors turn in their graves.
Thank you for reading this and best wishes to you all in the States. “Scotland Forever” 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🥃
 

A. Roy

Sergeant Major
Forum Host
Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Location
Raleigh, North Carolina
May I point out that we drink here the finest distilled drink on God’s earth and it is called 🥃 WHISKY. We don’t drink Whiskey, that’s what our friends the Irish drink. No one in Scotland calls it “Scotch” despite that word being on the label of the bottle.

I have the utmost respect for the drink mentioned here. This marvelous place called Edradour was already in operation during our American Civil War and is still making fine whisky. I had the privilege of visiting in 2014, and was pleased to find that they let you have a wee dram before starting your tour.

2014-05-14 13.07.07.jpg

Finally, we never put ice in our whisky. It’s just wrong and would make our ancestors turn in their graves.

It's sad that you have to mention this, but you are correct.

Roy B.
 

Fairfield

Sergeant Major
Member of the Month
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
As a Scot who has lived all my life in Edinburgh, Capital of Scotland, May I point out that we drink here the finest distilled drink on God’s earth and it is called 🥃 WHISKY. We don’t drink Whiskey, that’s what our friends the Irish drink. No one in Scotland calls it “Scotch” despite that word being on the label of the bottle.
It is my favourite tipple, especially a bottle of Single Malt Whisky.
Just thought I’d clear this up as it’s a common error made by many, many people.
Finally, we never put ice in our whisky. It’s just wrong and would make our ancestors turn in their graves.
Thank you for reading this and best wishes to you all in the States. “Scotland Forever” 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🥃
When I lived in Edinburgh, I went home to Boston on a visit and decided to bring a bottle of single malt to my father. At the shop, I was dithering between Glen Morangie and Glen Farclas and between 50-proof and 100-proof. The shopkeeper asked "Is your father an American like yourself?" and when I confessed that this was the case, he responded: "Then it doesn't matter--he's only going to ruin it with water anyway." 🥺 😊
 

FedericoFCavada

First Sergeant
Joined
Jan 27, 2015
Location
San Antonio, Texas
Meh, adulteration and dilution happen.... I seldom drink whiskey/whisky/even "whisk" in Brazilian Portuguese, since pronunciation will add the "ee" at the end of the word... But when I do, I drink it neat. On the other hand, I've served folks whisky, turned my back and become alarmed at the sound of my freezer opening and the tinkle of ice cubes into the drink... While internally I may have cringed, I figure, to each his own, and let them enjoy it the way they want. Ol' Thomas Francis Meagher drank his whiskey thinned with Vichy water, hence the screw-up that produced the Champagne and whiskey drink of the Fightin' 69th... Historically, water was not safe to drink, and so in the U.S., people started adding their own moonshine and whiskey to water to cure all ills.... The habit stuck on this side of the pond.

Coffee black with sugar, or black. I remember reading a description of the benefits of coffee in Civil War prose: "coffee, bereft of lacteal adulteration..." Quite so.

When I visited my shirt-tail relatives in Fife, many enjoyed candied Scotch in the form of Drambuie...
 

Fairfield

Sergeant Major
Member of the Month
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Meh, adulteration and dilution happen.... I seldom drink whiskey/whisky/even "whisk" in Brazilian Portuguese, since pronunciation will add the "ee" at the end of the word... But when I do, I drink it neat. On the other hand, I've served folks whisky, turned my back and become alarmed at the sound of my freezer opening and the tinkle of ice cubes into the drink... While internally I may have cringed, I figure, to each his own, and let them enjoy it the way they want. Ol' Thomas Francis Meagher drank his whiskey thinned with Vichy water, hence the screw-up that produced the Champagne and whiskey drink of the Fightin' 69th... Historically, water was not safe to drink, and so in the U.S., people started adding their own moonshine and whiskey to water to cure all ills.... The habit stuck on this side of the pond.

Coffee black with sugar, or black. I remember reading a description of the benefits of coffee in Civil War prose: "coffee, bereft of lacteal adulteration..." Quite so.

When I visited my shirt-tail relatives in Fife, many enjoyed candied Scotch in the form of Drambuie...
I love Drambuie--but I never thought of it like that! 😊 I also like Atholl Brose (and make it myself with a good Blended). Oh dear!
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2021
At no point in the history of the United States was the consumption of distilled spirits greater than in the early Republic. We're talking five gallons per person per annum average. That is a lot of corn mash whiskey.

The best book on the subject, and one that goes a considerable way into explaining the rising popularity of the temperance movement in the United States, is W.J. Rorabaugh, The Alcoholic Republic: An American Tradition (Oxford UP, 1979).

P. 173: "If Americans had wanted to drink fermented beverages, most could have afforded them As one observer put it, distilled liquor was preferred 'not because it is so much cheaper, but because it is so much more powerful.' " ... p. 176: "If the preference for distilled spirits over fermented beverages reflected American needs, so did the rejection of other available euphoric drugs, such as opium. During the 1820s it was estimated that there were a thousand liquor drinkers for each opium user, a hundred drunkards for each opium addict. ... "

By the Civil War, consumption of whiskey had begun to fall... Industrial laborers began to drink beer, which required lagering and other processes, but was gaining in popularity and market share.
From 1830-1836 Americans drank on average 4.7 gallons of distilled spirits--mostly whiskey, some rum--per capita, while by 1861 and 1870, the consumption was 2.1 gallons of spirits and dropping.

British drank 1.4 gallons of distilled spirits in 1830-1836, and 1.3 by 1861-1870. On the other hand, Scots went from 6.1 gallons of whiskey in 1820-1823 to 13.9 in 1847-1853! Ireland went from 1.5 gallons per capita per annum between 1830-1836, to 4.4 gallons during the 1847-1853--years of the famine and mass immigration...
Swedes consumed "brannvin" in prodigious quantity: 12.1 to 16 gallons per capita in 1830-1836, but 2.6 gallons by the Civil War years 1861-1870... Early recommendations in Sweden for "moderation" listed "only" seven drinks per day, to be consumed as a tipple at various periods of the day. Travelers in sleds and sleighs in the dead of winter were given recommendations of how many liters of booze they should bring.

Wine in the Civil War years was just .3 gals. per capita per annum in the USA. Beer had risen to 4.2 gallons per persons 15 years of age or older per year by the time of the Civil War.

Frenchmen and women drank 26.4 gallons of wine per capita at the time of the U.S. Civil War. That actually rose in the early 20th century. Beer consumption in the UK during the American Civil War was upwards of 32 gallons per capita. This fell to 21.5 gallons after the anti-pub laws and watering down of beer began in earnest during WWI. Too much grain, imported past German U-boats and sea mines was going to beer and ale, it was reasoned. So it was repeatedly cut back, making ever weaker beers. Licensing hours greatly reduced the times when people could go to pubs. The laws remained in place for the most part long after WWI... By 1919-1922 and the strike wave in postwar UK, it was 21.5 gallons of beer and ale per capita per annum.

Personally, I'd really like to try the Thomas Francis Meagher "fightin' 69th" regimental cocktail? He diluted Irish whiskey with some Vichy water. A hapless Irish private was sent out to get some Vichy water for him, and finding none, diluted the Irish whiskey with Champagne! Meagher pronounced it the official regimental drink... Or so the "blarney" has it!
that is a lot of scottish whiskey. The fightin' 69th regimental cocktail sounds quite refreshing. Using a sparking rose could add some good flavor and sweetness to the drink.
 
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