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Hawaiian Beach Tiki
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Before There Was Tiki

What if I told you that there was a tiki style drinking establishment before tiki bars even existed? What if I told you it existed in 1917, 16 years before Don Beach opened Don the Beachcombers. In this case it wasn’t a bar but a soda fountain doing “Hawaiian Week” in March 1917. Effectively it was a soda fountain tiki […]

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Raw Milk

Since this is a site dedicated to all things drink related, and milk is a delicious drink, I should probably tackle the debate over raw milk. This is an interesting topic because it encompasses science, politics, health and flavour and I have become increasingly interested in the future of food. But let’s talk about milk. Louis Pasteur was one of […]

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The Seven Year Itch

Ever hear of the seven-year itch? It’s a term that suggests happiness in a relationship declines around year seven of a marriage. I think that term applies to more things than relationships, like jobs and writing. Many writers pen articles on multiple topics and I’ve decided to do the same to keep life interesting. I’m still going to write about […]

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Tempus Fugit’s Cease & Desist (Abbott’s)

The inevitable has happened. Tempus Fugit Spirits have sent me a cease and desist letter asking me to stop using the Abbott’s Bitters name as they feel they have a legitimate trademark on it. I disagree, and I will explain why below. Though the letter is polite, like all cease and desists, it is implied that it will get much […]

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The Hangover

Tis the time of year for hangovers. This also means it is time for my annual message about the myth of caffeine and hangovers. If you drink coffee, tea or other caffeinated beverages your body has already adapted to the very mild diuretic effect of caffeine. In fact, scientific studies show caffeine does not have any diuretic effect at less […]

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Patent Medicine, The Endless Search

One of the historical blights on the soda fountain was the cure all patent medicines that were hocked for every know illness. Some were marketed as health supplements, while others were cures for specific ailments. The one common thread they all shared was their spurious health claims. This didn’t go unnoticed and many publications from the period made barbed statements […]

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Old Bitter Labels

Bitters are big business in the cocktail world and historically a cocktail wasn’t a cocktail without bitters, so it only makes sense. We often associate bitters with bars because of the cocktail, but the reality is that bitters were most likely sourced from the local pharmacy prior to prohibition. Even when bartenders were making thier own bitters, they probably sourced […]

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Bourbon Ads

Digging through old photo archives can lead you to some interesting discoveries. In this case I found a couple of interesting bourbon ads. The first is a trading card, printed for Big Spring whiskey, sometime between 1880 and 1920. What makes it interesting is that the subject is a naked woman. The second is for “Belle of Nelson Old fashion […]

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Between Two Evils

Temper has a number of meanings, but they all stem from Latin which is “to moderate”. The Temperance movement took the term and used the more extreme definition of “to control”. Then there is “intemperance” which means “without moderation” and has strong associations with alcohol consumption and alcoholism. Extreme views are common place amongst many people, but I try to […]

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Temperance Images from the 1800s

The temperance movement most likely started shortly after alcohol was first consumed. Chronic alcohol consumption is a bad thing, and during the 1800s it was out of control in many places. To paraphrase Newton’s third law of motion: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Where there was a drinking problem, the Temperance Leagues intervened. Unlike the […]