Per Capita Alcohol Consumption By Country

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The website VoucherCloud published an interactive map showing the The World’s Booziest Countries. The source they used for the data is from the recently released World Health Statistics 2017.

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The original story only lists the top fifteen countries, and identifies the United States at No. 27. Happily, they made the full list available in a Google sheet. The first number is their rank, of course, followed by the name of the country and the final number after their name is “Alcohol consumed per capita (litres).”

The Worlds Booziest Countries: Full Data

1 Lithuania 18.2
2 Belarus 16.4
3 Moldova 15.9
4 Russia 13.9
5 Czech Republic 13.7
6 Romania 13.7
7 Croatia 13.6
8 Bulgaria 13.6
9 Belgium 13.2
10 Ukraine 12.8
11 Estonia 12.8
12 Slovakia 12.3
13 Hungary 12.3
14 Latvia 12.3
15 United Kingdom 12.3
16 Poland 12.3
17 South Korea 11.9
18 Serbia 11.8
19 Namibia 11.8
20 Uganda 11.8
21 France 11.7
22 Equatorial Guinea 11.6
23 Rwanda 11.5
24 Germany 11.4
25 Slovenia 11.3
26 Australia 11.2
27 South Africa 11.2
28 Luxembourg 11.1
29 Finland 10.9
30 Ireland 10.9
31 Gabon 10.8
32 Angola 10.8
33 Seychelles 10.8
34 Portugal 10.6
35 Austria 10.6
36 Andorra 10.5
37 New Zealand 10.1
38 Denmark 10.1
39 Switzerland 10
40 Canada 10
25 Cameroon 9.9
26 Montenegro 9.6
27 Cyprus 9.3
27 United States 9.3
28 Spain 9.2
29 Nigeria 9.1
29 Argentina 9.1
30 Chile 9
31 Brazil 8.9
31 Peru 8.9
32 Sweden 8.8
32 São Tomé and Príncipe 8.8
33 Kazakhstan 8.7
33 Netherlands 8.7
33 Guyana 8.7
34 Vietnam 8.6
35 Greece 8.5
35 Zimbabwe 8.5
36 Belize 8.2
36 Botswana 8.2
36 Cape Verde 8.2
37 Grenada 8.1
37 Georgia 8.1
38 Suriname 8
39 Panama 7.9
39 Palau 7.9
39 Trinidad and Tobago 7.9
39 Republic of the Congo 7.9
40 Japan 7.8
40 Norway 7.8
40 Mongolia 7.8
40 Barbados 7.8
40 China 7.8
41 Saint Lucia 7.6
41 Burkina Faso 7.6
41 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 7.6
41 Italy 7.6
42 Malta 7.5
42 Iceland 7.5
43 Laos 7.3
44 Thailand 7.2
45 Venezuela 7.1
45 Niue 7.1
45 Mexico 7.1
46 Burundi 6.9
46 Saint Kitts and Nevis 6.9
47 Uruguay 6.8
48 Dominican Republic 6.6
49 Paraguay 6.3
49 Tanzania 6.3
49 Haiti 6.3
50 Swaziland 6
51 Bosnia and Herzegovina 5.9
51 Bolivia 5.9
52 Sierra Leone 5.7
52 Albania 5.7
52 Lesotho 5.7
53 Philippines 5.6
54 Jamaica 5.5
54 Kyrgyzstan 5.5
54 Turkmenistan 5.5
55 Puerto Rico 5.4
55 Netherlands Antilles 5.4
55 Armenia 5.4
55 Cuba 5.4
55 Liberia 5.4
55 Bahamas 5.4
55 Guinea-Bissau 5.4
56 Cambodia 5.3
57 Colombia 5.2
57 Ivory Coast 5.2
57 Chad 5.2
58 Ecuador 5.1
58 Cook Islands 5.1
58 Nicaragua 5.1
58 Uzbekistan 5.1
59 Dominica 5
59 India 5
59 Gambia 5
60 Ethiopia 4.6
61 Ghana 4.4
61 Kenya 4.4
62 Costa Rica 4.1
62 Sri Lanka 4.1
63 Mauritius 4
63 Azerbaijan 4
64 Zambia 3.9
64 North Korea 3.9
65 Honduras 3.8
65 Central African Republic 3.8
66 Nauru 3.6
67 El Salvador 3.4
68 Fiji 3.3
68 Sudan 3.3
69 Guatemala 3.1
70 United Arab Emirates 3
70 Democratic Republic of the Congo 3
70 Israel 3
71 Tajikistan 2.9
72 Macedonia 2.8
72 Samoa 2.8
73 Kiribati 2.7
74 Togo 2.6
74 Benin 2.6
75 Nepal 2.5
76 Federated States of Micronesia 2.4
76 Papua New Guinea 2.4
76 Malawi 2.4
77 Mozambique 2.3
78 Myanmar 2.2
79 Singapore 1.9
79 Turkey 1.9
79 Tuvalu 1.9
80 Madagascar 1.8
81 Maldives 1.7
82 Lebanon 1.6
82 Tunisia 1.6
83 Malaysia 1.5
84 Solomon Islands 1.4
84 Tonga 1.4
85 Vanuatu 1.3
85 Brunei 1.3
86 Mali 1.2
86 Eritrea 1.2
87 Qatar 1
87 Algeria 1
87 Iran 1
87 Timor-Leste 1
88 Bahrain 0.9
89 Syria 0.8
89 Morocco 0.8
89 Guinea 0.8
90 Indonesia 0.6
91 Oman 0.5
91 Jordan 0.5
91 Bhutan 0.5
91 Afghanistan 0.5
91 Senegal 0.5
91 Somalia 0.5
91 Niger 0.5
92 Djibouti 0.4
92 Iraq 0.4
92 Egypt 0.4
93 Yemen 0.2
93 Comoros 0.2
93 Saudi Arabia 0.2
93 Bangladesh 0.2
93 Kuwait 0.2
93 Pakistan 0.2
94 Libya 0.1
94 Mauritania 0.1

And here are the notes for each of the Top 15:

  1. Lithuania is the booziest country in the world. Lithuanians consume 18.2 litres of pure alcohol per capita or the equivalent to 186 bottles of wine.
  2. Belarus comes in second behind Lithuania. The country drinks 168 bottles of wine or 16.4 litres per capita.
  3. Moldovans consume 15.9 litres of pure alcohol per capita or 163 bottles of wine.
  4. Russia takes fourth place in the booziest country stakes. Russians consume the equivalent of 1390 vodka shots per capita.
  5. The Czech Republic drink a huge 482 pints of beer per capita! That’s 13.7 litres of pure alcohol.
  6. Tie for 6th:
    • In Romania people consume 13.7 litres of pure alcohol per capita.
    • Croatia follows closely behind Romania, consuming 13.6 per capita.
    • Bulgarians drink 13.6 litres of pure alcohol or 479 pints of lager per capita.
  7. Belgians drink 478 pints of beer per capita! That’s 13.2 litres of pure alcohol.
  8. Tie for 8th:
    • Ukranians consume 12.8 litres of pure alcohol per capita or 131 bottles of wine.
    • Estonia is joint eighth with people drinking 12.8 litres of pure alcohol per capita.
  9. Tie for 9th:
    • Solvakia is joint ninth place with people consuming 12.3 litres of pure alcohol per capita.
    • Hugarians consume 12.3 litres of pure alcohol per capita and take join tninth place.
    • Latvians drink 12.3 litres of pure alcohol per capita which is equal to 433 pints!
    • The UK is in the top 10 booziest countries. We each consume 12.3 litres of pure alcohol a year – the equivalent of around 126 bottles of wine.
    • Poland is also in joint ninth place with the UK, Slovakia, Hungary and Latvia.
  10. South Koreans drink 11.9 litres of pure alcohol per person and take the tenth place in the booziest countries place!

And here’s the note for the U.S.

  1. The US lags behind us on 9.3 litres per person – that’s the same as 564 330ml bottles of Budweiser.

Beer Birthday: William Reed

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Today is the birthday of William Reed, who owns the bar Standard Tap in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as well as Johnny Brenda’s. I first met William during the first Philly Beer Week sevral years ago, but got to know him a lot better during a trip I took to Belgium with a group of Philadelphia beer people a few years ago. He first opened Standard Tap in 1999, and it’s set the standard for Philly beer bars ever since. Join me in wishing William a very happy birthday.

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William in the back, having our first beer in Brussels a few years ago.

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William with Tom Peters.

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Sporting a Unicorn.

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William, with Scoats and Tom Peters as I shared Belgian frites with everyone in Brussels a few years ago.

Beer Birthday: Scoats

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Today is the 52nd birthday of Mike “Scoats” Scotese, owner of the Grey Lodge Public House in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and he’s also involved in the Hop Angel Brauhaus and Bonk’s Bar. Scoats is an awesome person, and I got to know him better when I took a trip to Belgium with a group of beer people from Philadelphia a few years ago. He’s a terrific advocate for better beer, and helped make Philadelphia the great beer town it is today. Join me in wishing Scoats a very happy birthday.

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Scoats at the Grey Lodge [photo by Danya Henninger for Philly.com].

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Scoats at GABF with another of favorte beer people, Jaime Jurado of Abita Brewing.

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Tapping a firkin.

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That’s Scoats behind Tom Peters as I shared Belgian frites with everyone in Brussels a few years ago.

Historic Beer Birthday: Jack “Legs” Diamond

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Today is the birthday of Jack “Legs” Diamond (July 10, 1897–December 18, 1931). He was “also known as ‘Gentleman Jack,’ [and] was an Irish American gangster in Philadelphia and New York City during the Prohibition era. A bootlegger and close associate of gambler Arnold Rothstein, Diamond survived a number of attempts on his life between 1916 and 1931, causing him to be known as the “clay pigeon of the underworld”. In 1930, Diamond’s nemesis Dutch Schultz remarked to his own gang, “Ain’t there nobody that can shoot this guy so he don’t bounce back?”

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Here’s his biography from Find-a-Grave:

Gangster bootlegger. Born Jack Moran on July 10, 1897, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to an Irish immigrant family. After his mother, Sara’s death, Diamond moved with his father and brother to Brooklyn, New York. Growing up impoverished, Diamond turned to street gangs and became involved in theft and violent crime as a teen. He later began to work for gangsters Arnold Rothstein and Jacob “Little Augie” Orgen. Jack set up shop as an extremely violent and murderous figure. He earned his “Legs” nickname either due to his quickness when running from a scene or because of his excellent dancing skills. He also married Alice Schiffer in 1926. She remained devoted to Jack through his strings of crime and mistresses, which included a notable affair with Ziegfeld showgirl Kiki Roberts. In August, 1927, Jack played a role in the murder of “Little Augie” (Jacob Orgen). Jack’s brother Eddie was Orgen’s bodyguard, but Legs Diamond substituted for Eddie that day. As Orgen and Jack were walking down a street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, three young men approached them and started shooting. Orgen was fatally wounded and Jack was shot two times below the heart. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he eventually recovered. During the late 1920s, Prohibition was in force, and the sale of beer and other alcohol was illegal in the United States. Jack traveled to Europe to score beer and narcotics, but failed. He did score liquor which was dumped overboard in partially full barrels which floated into Long Island as ships entered New York. Following Orgen’s death, Jack went to work overseeing bootleg alcohol sales in downtown Manhattan. That brought him into conflict with Dutch Schultz, who wanted to move beyond his base in Harlem. He also ran into trouble with other gangs in the city. In 1930, Jack and two henchmen kidnapped Grover Parks, a truck driver in Cairo, New York, and demanded to know where he had obtained his load of hard cider. When Parks denied carrying anything, Jack and his men beat and tortured Parks, eventually letting him go. A few months later, Jack was charged with the kidnapping of James Duncan. He was sent to Catskill, New York for his first trial, but was acquitted. However, he was convicted in a federal case on related charges, and he was sentenced to four years in jail. In a third trial, in Troy, New York, he was acquitted. On October 12, 1930, Jack was shot and wounded at the Hotel Monticello on the west side of Manhattan. Two men forced their way into his room, shot him five times, and then fled. Still in his pajamas, he staggered out into the hallway and collapsed. On December 30, 1930, Jack was discharged from Polyclinic. On April 27, 1931, Jack was again shot and wounded, this time at the Aratoga Inn, a road house near Cairo, New York. He was eating in the dining room with three companions when he walked out to the front door. A gunman with a shotgun shot him three times, and Jack collapsed by the door. On December 18, 1931, Jack’s enemies finally caught up with him, At 4:30 am, Jack went back to the rooming house and passed out on his bed. Two gunmen entered his room around 5:30 AM. One man held Jack down while the other shot him three times in the back of the head. No other gangster of the bootlegging era of 1920’s survived more bullet wounds than Legs. He was known as “The Clay Pidgeon of the Underworld”. On July 1, 1933, Jack’s widow, Alice Kenny Diamond, was found shot to death in her Brooklyn apartment. It was speculated that she was shot by Jack’s enemies to keep her quiet.

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This is about his arly life from his Wikipedia page:

Diamond was born July 10, 1897, to Sara and John Diamond, who emigrated from Ireland in 1891 to Philadelphia, USA. In 1899, Jack’s younger brother Eddie Diamond was born. Jack and Eddie both struggled through grade school, while Sara suffered from severe arthritis and other health issues. On December 24, 1913, Sara died from complications due to a bacterial infection and high fever. John Diamond, Sr. moved to Brooklyn shortly afterwards.

Diamond soon joined a New York street gang called the Hudson Dusters. Diamond’s first arrest for burglary occurred when he broke into a jewelry store on February 4, 1914, with numerous arrests following through the remainder of his life. Diamond served in the U.S. Army during World War I, but deserted in 1918 or 1919, then was convicted and jailed for desertion.

Once free of jail, Diamond became a thug and later personal bodyguard for Arnold Rothstein in 1919.

On October 16, 1927 Diamond tried to stop the murder of “Little Augie” (Jacob Orgen). Diamond’s brother Eddie was Orgen’s bodyguard, but Legs Diamond substituted for Eddie that day. As Orgen and Diamond were walking down a street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, three young men approached them and started shooting. Orgen was fatally wounded and Diamond was shot two times below the heart. Diamond was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he eventually recovered. The police interviewed Diamond in the hospital, but he refused to identify any suspects or help the investigation in any way. The police initially suspected that Diamond was an accomplice and charged him with homicide, but the charge was later dropped. The assailants were supposedly hired by Louis Buchalter and Gurrah Shapiro, who were seeking to move in on Orgen’s garment district labor rackets.

Diamond was known for leading a rather flamboyant lifestyle. He was a very energetic individual; his nickname “Legs” derived either from his being a good dancer or from how fast he could escape his enemies. His wife Alice was never supportive of his lifestyle, but did not do much to dissuade him from it. Diamond was a womanizer; his best known mistress was showgirl and dancer Marion “Kiki” Roberts. The public loved Diamond; he was Upstate New York’s biggest celebrity at the time.

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And this is about his time during “Prohibition and the Manhattan Bootleg Wars:”

During the late 1920s, Prohibition was in force, and the sale of beer and other alcohol was illegal in the United States. Diamond traveled to Europe to score beer and narcotics, but failed. He did obtain liquor, which was dumped overboard in partially full barrels, which floated onto Long Island, as ships entered New York. He paid the children a nickel for every barrel they brought to his trucks.

Following Orgen’s death, Diamond went to work overseeing bootleg alcohol sales in downtown Manhattan. That brought him into conflict with Dutch Schultz, who wanted to move beyond his base in Harlem. He also ran into trouble with other gangs in the city.

In 1930, Diamond and two henchmen kidnapped Grover Parks, a truck driver in Cairo, New York, and demanded to know where he had obtained his load of hard cider. When Parks denied carrying anything, Diamond and his men beat and tortured Parks, eventually letting him go. A few months later, Diamond was charged with the kidnapping of James Duncan. He was sent to Catskill, New York, for his first trial, but was acquitted. However, he was convicted in a federal case on related charges, and sentenced to four years in jail. In a third trial, in Troy, New York, he was acquitted.

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And this is about the many assassination attempts, prosecution attempts, and his eventual death:

On October 12, 1930, Diamond was shot and wounded at the Hotel Monticello on the west side of Manhattan. Two men forced their way into Diamond’s room, shot him five times, and then fled. Still in his pajamas, Diamond staggered out into the hallway and collapsed. When asked later by the New York Police Commissioner how he managed to walk out of the room, Diamond said he drank two shots of whiskey first. Diamond was rushed to the Polyclinic Hospital in Manhattan, where he eventually recovered. On December 30, 1930, Diamond was discharged from Polyclinic.

On April 21, 1931, Diamond was arrested in Catskill, New York, on assault charges for the Parks beating in 1930. Two days later, he was released on $25,000 bond from the county jail.

On April 27, 1931, Diamond was again shot and wounded, this time at the Aratoga Inn, a road house near Cairo, New York. Diamond was eating in the dining room with three companions when he walked out to the front door. A gunman with a shotgun shot Diamond three times, and Diamond collapsed by the door. A local resident drove Diamond to a hospital in Albany, New York, where he eventually recovered. While Diamond was still in the hospital, New York State Troopers on May 1 seized over $5,000 worth of illegal beer and alcohol from Diamond’s hiding places in Cairo and at the Aratoga Inn.

In August 1931, Diamond and Paul Quattrocchi went on trial for bootlegging. That same month, Diamond was convicted and sentenced to four years in state prison. In September 1931, Diamond appealed his conviction.

On December 18, 1931, Diamond’s enemies finally caught up with him. Diamond had been staying in a rooming house in Albany, New York while on trial in Troy, New York, on kidnapping charges. On December 17, Diamond was acquitted. That night, Diamond, his family and friends were at a restaurant. At 1:00 a.m., Diamond went to visit his mistress, Marion “Kiki” Roberts. At 4:30 a.m., Diamond went back to the rooming house and passed out on his bed. Two gunmen entered his room around an hour later. One man held down Diamond while the other shot him three times in the back of the head.

There has been much speculation as to who was responsible for the murder; likely candidates include Dutch Schultz, the Oley Brothers (local thugs), the Albany Police Department, and relatives of Red Cassidy, another Irish American gangster at the time. According to William Kennedy’s O Albany, Democratic Party Chairman Dan O’Connell, who ran the local political machine, ordered Diamond’s execution, which was carried out by the Albany Police.

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Legs’ best known mistress was showgirl and dancer Marion “Kiki” Roberts, who was with him the night he was murdered.

Historic Beer Birthday: Jacob Perkins

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Today is the birthday of Jacob Perkins (July 9, 1766–July 30, 1849). He “was an American inventor, mechanical engineer and physicist. Born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, Perkins was apprenticed to a goldsmith. He soon made himself known with a variety of useful mechanical inventions and eventually had twenty-one American and nineteen English patents. He is known as the father of the refrigerator. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1813.”

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While from what I can tell, Perkins didn’t work directly on refrigeration for breweries, but his work on the subject of refrigeration paved the way for all of your beers to be stored colder.

This biography of Perkins is from the History of Refrigeration:

Jacob Perkins (1766 – 1849) was an American inventor, mechanical engineer and physicist. He held many patents, among which was a patent for refrigerator. Because of that he is considered the father of the refrigerator.

Jacob Perkins was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, and went to school in Newburyport until he was 12. After the school he was an apprentice to a goldsmith in Newburyport called Davis. When Davis died three years later, Jacob continued the business of making gold beads and he also added the manufacture of shoe buckles. When he was twenty-one he was given a job by the master of the Massachusetts mint to make a die for making copper coins – cents bearing an eagle and an Indian. Three years later he improved and made machines for cutting and heading nails for which he was granted a patent in 1795. Jacob married on Nov. 11, 1790 to Hannah Greenleaf of Newbury and they, in time, had nine children. During the War of 1812 he worked on machinery that bored out cannons. He invented a bathometer (or piezometer) which measured the depth of the sea by measuring pressure of the water at certain depth. He also made steel plates and created some of the best steel plates which he used to start a printing business with engraver Gideon Fairman. They printed school books and legal currency for a Boston Bank. Perkins bought from Asa Spencer in 1809 the stereotype technology which was used as a method of prevention from counterfeiting and registered the patent. He later employed Asa Spencer. In 1816 he bid on the printing of currency for the Second National Bank in Philadelphia. At the same time English had a problem with forged notes when the Royal Society, a learned society for science, noticed high quality of American bank currency that was made by Perkins. In 1819, Perkins, Gideon Fairman, and Asa Spencer went to England to try and win the £20,000 reward for “unforgable notes”. After initial disputes they win the job and form the partnership “Perkins, Fairman and Heath” with English engraver-publisher Charles Heath. Partnership was later renamed into “Perkins Bacon”, when Charles Heath’s son-in-law, Joshua Butters Bacon, bought out Charles Heath. Company “Perkins Bacon” printed money for many banks, and postage stamps for many foreign countries.

In 1816, Jacob Perkins had worked on steam power with Oliver Evans in Philadelphia and in 1822 he made an experimental high pressure steam engine that worked at pressures up to 2,000 psi but that was not practical for the manufacturing technology of the time. This technology was used in another invention, the steam gun – an early fully automatic machine gun powered by steam with a high magazine capacity and a firing rate of 1,000 rpm. This idea was rejected by the Duke of Wellington as “too destructive”.

The idea for a refrigerator had come from Oliver Evans, also an American inventor. He conceived it in 1805 but he never built it. Perkins was granted the first patent for the vapor-compression refrigeration cycle, on August 14, 1834 with title: “Apparatus and means for producing ice, and in cooling fluids.”

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Here’s the description of his patent:

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The Drunkard And His Wife

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Today is the birthday of Jean de La Fontaine, who “was a famous French fabulist and one of the most widely read French poets of the 17th century. He is known above all for his Fables, which provided a model for subsequent fabulists across Europe and numerous alternative versions in France, and in French regional languages.” One of his fables is called “The Drunkard and His Wife.” It’s an odd little story about a wife who came up with a novel cure for her husband’s drinking. Why it hasn’t caught on is anybody’s guess.

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This is a modern translation, done by Craig Hill for “The Complete Fables of La Fontaine: A New Translation in Verse.”

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Just for fun, here’s an earlier version from 1886, translated by Walter Thornbury, and with an illustration by Gustave Doré:

FABLE LIII.

THE DRUNKARD AND HIS WIFE.

Each one’s his faults, to which he still holds fast,
And neither shame nor fear can cure the man;
‘Tis apropos of this (my usual plan),
I give a story, for example, from the past.
A follower of Bacchus hurt his purse,
His health, his mind, and still grew each day worse;
Such people, ere they’ve run one-half their course,
Drain all their fortune for their mad expenses.
One day this fellow, by the wine o’erthrown,
Had in a bottle left his senses;
[Pg 168]His shrewd wife shut him all alone
In a dark tomb, till the dull fume
Might from his brains evaporate.
He woke and found the place all gloom,
A shroud upon him cold and damp,
Upon the pall a funeral lamp.
“What’s this?” said he; “my wife’s a widow, then!”
On that the wife, dressed like a Fury, came,
Mask’d, and with voice disguised, into the den,
And brought the wretched sot, in hopes to tame,
Some boiling gruel fit for Lucifer.
The sot no longer doubted he was dead—
A citizen of Pluto’s—could he err?
“And who are you?” unto the ghost he said.
“I’m Satan’s steward,” said the wife, “and serve the food
For those within this black and dismal place.”
The sot replied, with comical grimace,
Not taking any time to think,
“And don’t you also bring the drink?”

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And here’s one more translation of the fable:

Each has his fault, to which he clings
In spite of shame or fear.
This apophthegm a story brings,
To make its truth more clear.
A sot had lost health, mind, and purse;
And, truly, for that matter,
Sots mostly lose the latter
Ere running half their course.
When wine, one day, of wit had fill’d the room,
His wife inclosed him in a spacious tomb.
There did the fumes evaporate
At leisure from his drowsy pate.
When he awoke, he found
His body wrapp’d around
With grave-clothes, chill and damp,
Beneath a dim sepulchral lamp.
‘How’s this? My wife a widow sad?’
He cried, ‘and I a ghost? Dead? dead?’
Thereat his spouse, with snaky hair,
And robes like those the Furies wear,
With voice to fit the realms below,
Brought boiling caudle to his bier –
For Lucifer the proper cheer;
By which her husband came to know –
For he had heard of those three ladies –
Himself a citizen of Hades.
‘What may your office be?’
The phantom question’d he.
‘I’m server up of Pluto’s meat,
And bring his guests the same to eat.’
‘Well,’ says the sot, not taking time to think,
‘And don’t you bring us anything to drink?’

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The 10 Tavern Commandments

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This is a fascinating piece of history. It’s a lithograph from 1873 entitled “The 10 tavern commandments, as every landlord should show them to his guests” and it’s also printed in a second language, German, and called “Die 10 Wirthshaus-Gebote, wie sie jeder Wirth seinen Gästen auf’s fleissigste vorhalten soll.” The lithographer was Theodore Kahlmann, and it was published by C. Brothers in New York.

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It’s a little hard to read them without blowing up the image, so here are the English language version of The 10 Tavern Commandments, though I confess not all of them make complete sense.

  1. Thou shallst have no host but me!
    Of all good hosts consider me the very best,
    In my Inn alone be pleased, frequent not the rest.
  2. Thou shallst not use in vain the name thy host!
    Call not on me in vain,
    But for drinks, whereby I gain,
    Or, when you wish to pay,
    Then call on me you may.
  3. Thou shallst not chain the Tiger, for he is most ferocious!
    Leave not they pocket book at home,
    For ’tis bad when borrowing you come,
    You will relish better, what you drink and eat,
    When you promptly pay as ’tis need.
  4. Thou shallst honor thine host and hostess, that thou mayest prosper and live long on earth!
    Often in foul speech or name
    Never thy host or his dame,
    To find fault with the drink would become you ill,
    But you should praise it when and wherever you will.
  5. Thou shallst not slay bottles and glasses but shallots refrain from all such touching exercise!
    The life of bottles and glasses thou must not take,
    For ’tis mean these things in wrathful mood to break,
    Moreover you’ll get in trouble, if you raise hell,
    For then the Peelers come and take you to a prison cell.
  6. Thou shallst in night’s dark hours not mistake my wife for thine!
    Let the evil spirit never prompt thee,
    To bow in courtship to my wife thy knee,
    For then I’d throw thee out of a window or of door,
    And if t’were from the fourth or yet a higher floor.
  7. Thou shallst not find and take with thee what n’er was lost!
    My chalk thou must not take,
    I need it thy bill to make,
    Or else I’ll get; for thy punishment
    Such as will chalk down double, each and every cent.
  8. Thou shallst not bear false witness to thine host!
    Tell me always when I ask; in truthfulness
    What thou owes for drinks, rather more than less,
    Give never a false statement,
    For honesty is thy best ornament.
  9. Thou shallst not covet what is loss to thy host!
    Ask not that I should give
    Large pieces and full measures,
    For ’tis by my profit that I live,
    Dear customers remember his leisure.
  10. Thou shallst not covet to carress my cook and water girls!
    ’Tis best they desires to curb and bridle,
    For it makes the girls stupid and idle
    When love is talked behind the kitchen door,
    And then it might grow on thee and become a bore.

In the illustration in the center, the tavern owner (presumably) is holding up two tables with the 10 Commandments on them as his guests and staff appear to be ignoring him, just as you’d expect when someone is trying to law down the law.

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Historic Beer Birthday: Sammy Fuchs

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Today is the birthday of Sammy Fuchs (July 4, 1884-April 5, 1969). He was born in the New York City neighborhood known as the Bowery, probably in 1884, although at least one source gives 1905 as his birth year. “He was a busboy, waiter, and a restaurant manager before he opened up his famous saloon at 267 Bowery in 1934″ known as “Sammy’s Bowery Follies.” Open until 1970, eight years before I moved to New York City, it sounds like it was an amazing place.

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Sammy Fuchs behind his bar, pouring a beer.

This account of Sammy Fuchs is from “The Bowery: A History of Grit, Graft and Grandeur,” by Eric Ferrara:

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In their December 4, 1944 issue, Life magazine featured the bar and wrote the following:

“From 8 in the morning until 4 the next morning Sammy’s is an alcoholic haven for the derelicts whose presence has made the Bowery a universal symbol of poverty and futility. It is also a popular stopping point for prosperous people from uptown who like to see how the other half staggers”

There were lots of photographers who visited the bar, and as a result lots of pictures exist from its heyday, and many are online. See, for example, Sammy’s Stork Club of the Bowery New York: ‘An Alcoholic Haven’ of Prospering Poverty, Sammy’s Bowery Follies c. 1945 from Mashable, or The Chiseler.

This account is by photographer Arthur “Weegee” Fellig in his book “Naked City,” published in 2002, but describing the Bowery in the 1940s:

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Here’s a few more random photos of Sammy Fuchs.

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And here’s a short video of the history of Sammy’s Bowery Follies.

Harry Potter’s Historic Butterbeer

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Today, June 26, in 1997, twenty years ago, the first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was published in the United Kingdom. If that title looks wrong to you, that’s because in America it was titled Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone because the publisher “thought that a child would not want to read a book with the word ‘philosopher’ in the title.” They may have been right, but it’s still a little sad. At any rate, in the seven novels there was something called “Butterbeer,” described as a drink that “can be served either cold with a taste similar to cream soda or frozen as a slush with a butterscotch-like foam on top.” Basically, it’s fake beer for kids. Although it’s also” described as being able to make house elves intoxicated, and having only a slight effect on wizards.” So it actually is alcoholic, although how much is uncertain.

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And apparently J.K. Rowling didn’t completely make it up. A few years ago, Food in Literature writer Brayton Taylor discovered that a recipe for butterbeer, or Buttered Beere, was part of a manuscript from 1594 entitled The good Huswifes Handmaide for the Kitchin. And all this time I’d been thinking she’d been inspired by Redhook ESB, the craft beer era’s original butter beer. Here’s the text of the original butterbeer from at least 1594:

To make Buttered Beere.

TAke three pintes of Beere, put fiue yolkes of Egges to it, straine them together, and set it in a pewter pot to the fyre, and put to it halfe a pound of Sugar, one penniworth of Nutmegs beaten, one penniworth of Cloues beaten, and a halfepenniworth of Ginger beaten, and when it is all in, take another pewter pot and brewe them together, and set it to the fire againe, and when it is readie to boyle, take it from the fire, and put a dish of sweet butter into it, and brewe them together out of one pot into an other.

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Here’s Taylor’s modern recipe for Harry Potter Alcoholic Butter Beer:

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle of British Ale (we used Old Peculiar originally but Speckled Hen is now my favourite)
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ⅓ cup of brown sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2.5 tbsp of unsalted butter

Instructions

  1. Start by pouring the ale into a saucepan. To keep it from ‘exciting’ (foaming up), angle the saucepan and gently pour the ale down the side into the pan.
  2. Stir in the 1 tsp of spices.
  3. Gently heat until it comes to a boil, before lowering the heat and simmering for a few minutes.
  4. In these few minutes, whisk together the yolks and sugar.
  5. Lower the heat even more and add in the yolks and sugar to the ale.
  6. Let simmer for 3-5 minutes and remove from heat.
  7. Stir in the butter until fully mixed in.
  8. With a hand blender, froth the ale until foam forms. Let sit to cool.
  9. Using a spoon, hold back the froth as you pour the butterbeer into the beer stein. Leave about an inch of room on the top, spoon on the froth and serve.

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And here’s another adaptation of the same recipe, from 12 Bottle Bar, although they give the date of the original manuscript as 1588.

  1. 3 pint (16.9 oz) Bottles of real Ale
  2. 0.5 tsp ground Cloves
  3. 0.5 tsp ground Cinnamon
  4. 0.25 tsp ground Ginger
  5. 5 Egg Yolks
  6. 1 Cup Brown Sugar (Demerara)
  7. 12 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
  1. Add ale and spices to a saucepan
  2. Bring to a boil, then immediately turn to lowest setting
  3. Beat together eggs and sugar until light and creamy
  4. Remove ale from heat, whisk in egg mixture, returning to low heat
  5. Whisk constantly over low until mixture begins to thicken slightly (about 5 minutes)
  6. Remove from heat and whisk in butter quickly until a nice foam forms
  7. Serve warm

Notes: If you’re concerned about the alcohol level, here are some notes: We used Fuller’s London Pride, which is 4.7% ABV. Before adding the egg mixture, letting the beer simmer longer (20 minutes or so) should boil off all the alcohol, if that’s what you’re after. Use your discretion.