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Food
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What Kind Of Booze Were Americans Getting Drunk On Through History?

Updated 12 Aug 2020 99.6k views11 items

The history of alcohol in America, from colonial cider drinkers to prohibition hooch smugglers, shows the lengths Americans went for their booze. Some cowboys were said to be so desperate at the saloons they threw back a mixture of gin and strychnine, while some speculate that the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock in winter because they ran out of beer. In the late 19th century, Americans flocked to bars to try new, exciting cocktails, while German immigrants popularized a new style of beer. 

The American history of alcohol is also the history of trying to control drinking. When cider's popularity threatened the temperance movement, abstainers burned down apple orchards. And when tequila smugglers crossed the Mexican border during Prohibition, the Prohibition Bureau tracked down their mules. The biggest crisis of George Washington's presidency came when the new government tried to tax whiskey. American drinking habits may have changed, but America's love of booze hasn't.

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