Lifestyle or Problem?

From Gaz Regan’s Ardent Spirits enewsletter:

“The practice is to commence with a brandy or gin ‘cocktail’ before breakfast, by way of an appetizer.  Subsequently, a ‘digester’ will be needed.  Then, in due course and at certain intervals, a ‘refresher,’ a ‘reposer,’ a ‘settler,’ a ‘cooler,’ an ‘invigorator,’ a ‘sparkler,’ and a ‘rouser,’ pending the final ‘nightcap,’ or midnight dram.”  Life and Society in America by Samuel Phillips Day.  Published by Newman and Co., 1880.

4 Replies to “Lifestyle or Problem?”

  1. Levels of alcohol consumption in 18th and 19th century America were truly unbelievable. Historic sources mention levels of 7 gallons of (200 proof) alcohol per capita (that includes women, children and infants)! Historians attribute this to the huge surpluses of corn on the western frontier, which encouraged the production of whiskey.

  2. In the past good drinking water was scarce or totally unavailable. Drinking beer, wine and spirits just made sense. A few years ago I had the same advice when visiting India where amoebic dysentery still lands many tourists in hospital from drinking the water or even ice cubes. A strange habit of drinking only alcohol (and eating only bread) worked well in avoiding hospital. The 200 proof is likely an exaggeration but otherwise likely true. Lifespans were short enough that the side effects weren’t an issue.

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