You’re vaxxed. Your friends are vaxxed. You made it through Mother’s Day. It’s officially patio season and this one might just shape up to be the best one yet. With patio season comes friends, delicious barbecues, and buzzed afternoons. Quarantine summer is in the past and this one holds the promise of some fun, again… even if only outside and in small groups.
While you’re heating up the grill, cracking open a cold one, and making sure your adorable little heathens don’t break anything on the trampoline. After a year of no socializing, you might be looking for some conversation starters. After all, we don’t know about you but we sort of feel like we’ve forgotten how to interact with others. And, literally, no one cares about your sourdough starter anymore. So, what do you talk about while standing command over the grill, IPA in hand? A little alcohol trivia can go a long way!
Beer And Cocktail Facts
- Take your beer-drinking seriously? Perhaps you’re a master of zythology or the study of beer.
- Ever notice cocktail glasses are thicker and heavier at the bottom? It’s to enable the safe in-glass muddling of fruit and herbs for mixed drinks.
- Beer bottles are brown to keep out UV rays, which can ruin the flavor of your beer.
- There was once a law, the Code of Hammurabi, that stated that bartenders who watered down beer should be executed.
- Orson Welles introduced the Negroni to many Americans. He was working in Rome at the time and wrote about it for an Ohio newspaper.
- James Bond takes his gin and tonic with an entire lime’s worth of juice.
- Speaking of Bond, the reason he has to give such specific martini instructions is because, simply put, he’s ordering wrong. Martinis are stirred. A shaken drink with the same ingredients is actually called a Bradford.
- Think your state is the drunkest state? The top five states with the highest beer consumption are New Hampshire, Montana, Vermont, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
- You know what a speakeasy is (a Prohibition-era secret bar), but do you know how speakeasies got their name? It came from the concept of speaking easy, or quietly, so as not to be caught.
- The Paloma is the most popular cocktail in Mexico, not the margarita.
- America’s biggest day for beer sales? Independence Day!
- Beer helped in the discovery of oxygen. (Before then, we all held our breaths.)
- You probably already know Ernest Hemingway was lush (to put it mildly), but did you know he invented a cocktail? It was a mix of Absinthe and Champagne called, “Death In The Afternoon.”
- Frank Sinatra was buried with a bottle of Jack Daniels. Talk about doing things, “My Way.”
- “Whiskey” refers to most Irish- or American-made whiskey. Scotch is “whisky,” and will never have an e.
- Scotland boasts to have stored, at any given time, nearly four casks of whisky per Scottish resident.
- “Whiskey” has Gaelic roots and translates to, “water of life.”
- Kentucky Derby attendees consume 7,800 liters of bourbon in mint julep during race weekend every year.
- There are more bourbon barrels in Kentucky than there are people.
- At one time, George Washington was America’s biggest whiskey distiller.
- At the 12-year mark, whiskey has lost 25 percent of its volume to evaporation. It’s called the angels’ share.
- Scotland exports one billion bottles of whisky each year.
- Did you know Jack Daniels was a real person? Legend has it that he learned how to make whiskey when he was only six years old. A Lutheran minister taught him.
- The earliest recorded production of whiskey is in 1494.
- When you think of whiskey, do you think of Kentucky or Tennessee? How about Alabama, where it’s the state beverage.
- Ever notice the Glenfiddich bottle’s triangular shape? It represents the three pillars of whiskey making: air, barley, and water.
- According to the French Federation of Spirits, whiskey sales make up 47.2 percent of all spirit sales in France.
- In the 18th century, rum was used as currency.
- Daiquiris became popular during WWII because vodka and whiskey were hard to acquire but it was still easy to get rum.
- The Spanish nickname for rum is Aguardiente, which translates to “fire water.”
- What’s in a name? Spiced rum might be seasoned with anything from cinnamon or rosemary to absinthe and anise.
- The name mai tai comes from the Tahitian Mai tai roa ae, which translates to “out of this world — the best!”
- At one point the Royal Navy actually gave daily rum rations to sailors because it was believed to prevent scurvy.
- Our first president truly enjoyed all liquor, it seems. George Washington apparently demanded that a barrel of rum be available for his 1789 inauguration.
- Rum is believed to be the first spirit distilled purely for enjoyment, as opposed to medical purposes.
- The oldest brand of rum still in existence is Mountain Gay, which has a deed dating back to 1703.
- Puerto Rico is home to 80 percent of all resources used in rum production.
- Need an excuse to drink? August is National rum month.
- While rum is now produced all over the world, the majority of rum is still produced in the Caribbean and Latin America.
- Many believe America’s first cocktail was the rum sling. Ingredients: Rum, lemon juice, sugar, and water.
- A slightly similar rum drink popular with pirates was called Bumbo. It was made with rum, sugar, water, and nutmeg.
- Nicknames for rum include Nelson’s blood, kill-devil, demon water, pirate’s drink, navy neaters, Barbados water, grog, and rumbullion!
- Even George Washington enjoyed rum. He was known for his Mount Vernon eggnog, which he made with dark Jamaican rum.
- About 25 percent of all alcohol consumed worldwide is vodka or contains vodka.
- Think vodka is made from potatoes? Think, again! While vodka can be made from potatoes, it can also be made from basically any sugar source.
- Looking for the most “bang” without spending a ton of calories? Vodka is only about 90 calories a shot.
- In the alcohol world, many drinks pride themselves on being “aged.” Not vodka, though. In theory, if an unopened bottle is stored properly, it can last indefinitely. But who stores things properly? Once vodka’s color or clearness starts to change, it’s time to toss it out. And once a bottle has been opened, it’s best to finish it within twelve months.
- Vodka comes from the Slovak word for water, which is voda.
- Most people believe vodka comes from Russia. That might not be true, however. In Eastern Europe, it’s a hotly contested “fact” as to whether vodka was “born” in Russia or Poland.
- Vodka has been proven beneficial in helping with poison ivy and in disinfecting (and thus subduing) toothaches.
- Of course, vodka is also a solid surface cleaning option. It’s all-natural, disinfects, and is particularly good at cleaning stainless steel.
- Because of vodka’s excellent disinfecting qualities, you can also use it on your face! Vodka can be used when mixing DIY aftershave. You can also dilute it with water and pat it on your face to help cleanse away bacteria.
- Looking to drink (relatively) hangover free? Vodka might be the answer. The darker your liquor, the more toxins or congeners, you’ll find. It’s those added toxins that can cause or worsen a hangover. A clear liquid like vodka lacks those toxins, so it’s less likely to cause a wicked headache.