A Heritage of Enjoying a Pint or Two!

“‘Dreadful prodigality'” does not too extravagantly describe the drinking habits of the people of Virginia in the latter half of the eighteenth century. They consumed an enormous quantity of liquors in proportion to their numbers, and drank indiscriminately, at all hours of the day and night. West India rum was the favorite drink of the people, because the cheapest, and was bought by the puncheon. Most every cellar, especially in the Cavalier settlements, had its barrel of cider, Bordeaux and sherry and Maderia wines, French brandies, delicate Holland gins, cordials, syrups, and every sort of ale and beer. Drunkenness was so common as to excite no comment, and drinking after dinner and at parties was always hard, prolonged, and desperate, so that none but the most seasoned old topers–the judges, squires, and parsons of six-bottle capacity ever escaped with their sea-legs in an insurable condition.”

History and Comprehensive Description of Loudoun County Virginia by James W. Head published in 1908. For more on Loudoun County history, visit: www.loudounhistory.org/history/loudoun-early-customs.htm

 

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