The History of Booze

Peace & Love and Swingers - 1960s

The 1960s were transformational in so many ways; in fact some would go so far as to say that the 60s can be best summarised as being a decade of counter-culture and revolution in terms of clothing, music, drugs, dress, sexuality, formalities and education.

Those who are a little more tightly buttoned up and don’t appreciate the changing order of things, decry the decade as being defined by flamboyance, excess, free love and the undoing of social order. The label ‘Swinging Sixties’ came about because social taboos, particularly in terms of sexuality, were falling left, right and centre.

The Rock 'n' Roll Years - 1950s

Cocktail culture was well and truly established by this decade; no longer the preserve of the wealthy as soldiers returned from the war, bringing their experiences of tiki tastes. 

The Manhattan and The Cuba Libre were particularly popular with both men and women, but there was an emergence of sweeter cocktails for the drinkers with a more delicate palate. The sloe gin fizz, for example, was seen as being ladylike. Many of these new cocktails were blended with ice cream and fizz to replicate milkshakes or a visit to the soda fountain tap. One of the most famous of these cocktails was the White Russian; a simple blend of vodka, Kahlua and cream.

Who do you think you are kidding - 1940s

The forties were dominated by WWII; even after the war ended in 1945, the effects of the war rippled on through the years. All aspects of culture were affected by the war and times were hard for everyone. The death, destruction and horror of the war cannot be understated; the events of the holocaust must never be forgotten. Many advances were made, however, due to the war, things such as the emergence of the Standoff-Berry computer, which is now generally recognised as one of the very first electronic devices. The forties also saw the development of radar, jet aircraft, the microwave oven, commercial television and, of course, the Slinky and Frisbee!

Hollywood and Hanky Panky- 1930s

As Americans began to twitch about their own economy, they called in their loans to other countries; at the same time putting up customs barriers - thus triggering the Great Depression. In the UK unemployment reached 22.8% in 1933, but it did begin to fall from that point and by 1938 it was approximately 10%. There were huge employment differentials across the country; some parts thrived and others struggled.

Back in Time for Drinks - 1920s

This idea blossomed from a family discussion over Christmas about our relatives’ favourite tipples going back over the generations. So we thought we would kick off the series going back to the 1920s. 

Beerlieve it or Not

As you sit back and quaff your favourite craft beer, here’s a little something for you to ruminate upon and it might also help you win a pub quiz! Beer has a very long history and it is one of the oldest things that we homo sapiens have been making, drinking and enjoying. Before wine or whiskey and other forms of alcohol were even a distant dream, man was producing beer.

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Absinthe Green Fairy or Green Demon

There is perhaps only one drink that has so polarised opinions. Absinthe has been credited with the creative inspiration of many and freedom from societal conventions, but at the same time it has been blamed for causing madness, depression and despair. How did one drink come to have such a diverse and contradictory reputation?

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Small Beer

There is a school boy myth that small beer was all about the folk of the medieval period drinking small beer, in fear of their lives from the perils of drinking the unsanitary water. If you too are now shaking your head in disbelief because you thought this was true, fear not for B&C are going to reveal small beers’ true story.

Fire Fly - The Samba Story

Sambuca heralds from Italy, and if you want to say it like a native Italian speaker, then it is pronounced sam ‘bu ka. You never want to sound like a tourist when asking for this liqueur on a sultry night in Rome - the price might shoot up twice over, not to mention that you will sound like an idiot and the waiter will snigger about you with the other waiters. Worse still, the person you are wining and dining might also know the correct way to say it and all bets are off on that date!

There's Beer in Them There Fens

Little did the team at B&C know that just down the road from our base, archaeologists were making breakthrough discoveries about potentially the earliest beer making in Britain. For months, we have been able to hear the road crews and all of their wonderful machinery, disturbing the usual gentle hum of the A14, as we have been hard at work on the magazine, oblivious to the fact that history was being uncovered under our very noses.

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Tales of Tequila

Exploring the world of tequila; from the legends of the 

Nahua tribe to the classic Margarita