Thursday, September 25, 2008

Memo: Drinking "Flip and Shrub" Makes You a Liar

I had to prepare a mock lecture for my 19th century proseminar this week, which included a section on evangelical reformers. I needed an illustration for the slide show, so I dug around in the Early American Imprints collection at Archive of Americana (a life saver!) and found this broadside: The Drunkard's Looking-Glass, distributed by Benjamin Rush in Philadelphia in 1810.

This broadside contains lots of useful information, including "symptoms of drunkenness" such as "singing, halooing, roaring, imitating thenoises of brute animals, jumping, tearing off clothes, dancing naked, breaking glasses and china, and dashing other articles of household furniture upon the ground or floor." Also, drinking gin will send you to the GALLOWS.
In case you're wondering, "flip" is a drink made by pouring a gill of rum into a mug of beer that has been sweetened with pumpkin, cream, eggs, molassas, and/or sugar, and then stirring it all up with a red-hot poker.

Shrub is actually quite nice — we used to make it for Civil War reenactments because it's refreshing even at room temperature. I know that drinking a big ol' cup of vinegar sounds a little strange, but it's not bad.

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