Bar Trivia: Fun Facts About Alcohol
- It is against the law in Alaska to give alcohol to a moose, and in Ohio it is illegal to give alcohol to a fish. It is illegal to run a tab in Iowa, and in Indiana it is against the law for liquor stores to sell milk or cold soft drinks. No North Dakota bar or restaurant may serve beer and pretzels at the same time; no Nebraska bar may serve beer unless there is also a kettle of soup boiling.
- Bourbon, which by act of Congress is the official spirit of the United States, takes its name from Bourbon County in Kentucky, where it was first produced in 1789 by a Baptist minister.
- The Mayflower, the ship that brought Pilgrims to colonial America, ordinarily transported alcohol between Spain and England. Ironically, the Pilgrims stopped at Plymouth because the ship was running low on alcohol. In the colonies, beer or distilled alcohol was safer to drink than water, which was usually unpotable and carried diseases like typhus. This might explain the success of George Washington’s distillery at Mount Vernon. In 1798, Washington’s distillery at Mount Vernon produced 11,000 gallons of whiskey and produced a profit of $7,500.
- The favorite cocktails of several former U.S. Presidents are reported to include: gin and tonic (Gerald Ford); Martini (Herbert Hoover); rum and coke (Richard Nixon); scotch or brandy (Franklin Roosevelt); Bourbon (Harry Truman); and scotch and soda (Lyndon B. Johnson).
- Frederick the Great of Prussia tried to ban the consumption of coffee and demanded that the populace drink alcohol instead.
- Among the Bagonda people of Uganda, the several widows of a recently deceased king have the distinctive honor of drinking the beer in which his bowels have been cleaned.
- In ancient Babylon, a bride’s father supplied his son-in-law with all the mead (a drink made of fermented honey) he could drink for a month after the wedding. This period was called the “honey month,” or what we now call the “honeymoon.”
- Drinking lowers rather than raises the body temperature. There is an illusion of increased heat because alcohol causes the capillaries to dilate and fill with more warm blood.