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    Eat & Swig

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    This originally appeared in Vol. IV of Louisville Swig, December 2015
    Image: NYPL Digital Collections

    We asked some local booze experts to give us their favorite drinking-related trivia. Try these conversation starters at the next cocktail party you attend. 

    “Favorite drinks of our presidents: gin and tonic (Gerald Ford); martini (Herbert Hoover); rum and Coke (Richard Nixon); and bourbon (Harry Truman).”
    — Sara Havens
    AKA the Bar Belle

    “Did you know that beer is almost 7,000 years old? Scientists tested pottery jars found in present-day Iran and discovered evidence of fermentation, making it the earliest evidence of brewing to date.”
    — Scott Shreffler
    Regional brewery representative for St. Louis’ Schlafly Beer and certified cicerone. (Another bit of trivia: A cicerone is like a sommelier, but with beer instead of wine.)

    “There are three major misconceptions about hobby distilling, aka moonshining:
    1. Jim Tom and Tickle from Discovery Channel’s Moonshiners epitomize the hobby distiller. Fact: Many hobby distillers are well-educated professionals who make liquor for the challenge and the pride of sharing their product with friends. They don’t make liquor to sell.
    2. If moonshining were legalized in the U.S., everyone would do it. Fact: It’s not easy and not quick. Most people would quit and sprint to the liquor store after one try.
    3. Seemingly everybody ‘knows a guy who distills pure alcohol in his garage.’ Fact: Such purity is super-hard to achieve outside a commercial environment. Said hobby distiller is lying or sneaking Everclear grain alcohol into your glass.”
     — Steve Coomes
    Author of The Home Distiller’s Guide to Spirits

    “When King Tutankhamun’s tomb was opened, the wine jars buried with him were labeled with the year, the name of the winemaker and comments such as ‘very good wine.’ The labels were so specific that they could actually meet the modern wine label laws of several countries.”
     — Aaron Dawkins
    Manager at Republic National Distributing Co. and certified sommelier

    “The social and legal impact of Prohibition on Louisville was overwhelming, but the greatest local effect was economic. More than 10,000 Louisvillians — people who worked in distilleries, breweries and taverns, and the shipping and farming industries — lost their jobs when America went dry on Jan. 16, 1920. Scattered throughout every neighborhood and economic class in the city, Prohibition hit Louisville harder than any other city in America.” 
    — Rick Bell
    Local historian

    “In the late 1800s, Kentucky was becoming the nation’s third-largest grape and wine producer. However, Prohibition put Kentucky’s grape and wine industry out of business, and many Kentucky farmers turned their acreage over to the production of tobacco.”
    — Dawkins

    “Cenosillicaphobia is the fear of an empty glass. I think I have that.”
     — Havens

     

    This originally appeared in Vol. IV of Louisville Swig, December 2015
    Image: NYPL Digital Collections

     

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