history

The Florida Marketing Stunt That Gave the World the Sex on the Beach

The Florida Marketing Stunt That Gave the World the Sex on the Beach

A sweetly simple mix of vodka, schnapps, cranberry juice, and O.J., the Sex on the Beach is an easy-drinking party starter. Yet behind its tropical facade lies uncertain origins. According to one version of the cocktail’s history, in 1987, an ominously named spirits company called National Distribution wanted to boost sales of its new product, […]

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The Bear Who Drank Beer, Smoked Cigarettes, and Became an Unlikely War Hero

The Bear Who Drank Beer, Smoked Cigarettes, and Became an Unlikely War Hero

In 1942, a group of Polish prisoners of war traveling from a Siberian labor camp to Alexandria, Egypt found an unlikely companion in the mountains of modern-day Iran: a brown bear cub. They named the bear Wojtek (pronounced “Voytek”). His story is one of hope, heroism, and beer-fueled perseverance. After leaving a Soviet gulag, the […]

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The History of Lager in America

The History of Lager in America

Let’s take it back. When John Wagner, a Bavarian brewer, arrived in America in 1840, he came with some precious cargo: a supply of lager yeast from his native Bavaria. And as far as American cities go, he picked the right place. Philadelphia had been brewing beer for 160 years. However, the beer that Philadelphia, […]

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The Underground Wine Shop That Saved a Hotel From Two World Wars

The Underground Wine Shop That Saved a Hotel From Two World Wars

When you pass through the harried restaurant kitchen of Switzerland’s Grand Hotel Kronenhof, the floor changes quickly. White, industrial tile suddenly morphs into small black cobblestones, and then you’re suddenly faced with a rickety descending staircase made of oak. Follow it, and you’re in the wine cellar of the renowned Swiss hotel. This is no […]

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Everything You Never Knew About Chianti (And Why to Drink It Now)

Everything You Never Knew About Chianti (And Why to Drink It Now)

Say the words “red sauce,” and many of us immediately conjure the smell of hearty tomato “gravy” bubbling away on grandma’s stove or in the kitchen of a favorite Italian restaurant. Whether you’re of Italian descent or not, it’s hard to argue that the fresh zing of basil and oregano, the spicy scents of veal, […]

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In 1815, America Almost Embarked Upon a Plan to Build a National Brewery

In 1815, America Almost Embarked Upon a Plan to Build a National Brewery

In September 2012, the White House published a presidential first: a recipe for White House beer. White House Honey Brown Ale, and later White House Honey Porter and White House Honey Blonde, were the first beers ever brewed on site, courtesy of Sam Kass, White House assistant chef, and President Barack Obama.

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Hard Cider, Frontier Fables, and the True (Boozy) Story of Johnny Appleseed

Hard Cider, Frontier Fables, and the True (Boozy) Story of Johnny Appleseed

American cider is currently defined by what it isn’t. Made from fruit, not grain, it isn’t beer — although it is frequently packaged in beer-sized bottles, and drafted alongside beer at bars like The Northman in Chicago or Covenhoven in Brooklyn. It certainly doesn’t inspire the reverence or academic certification that surrounds wine, although production […]

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8 Things You Should Know About Knob Creek Bourbon Whiskey

8 Things You Should Know About Knob Creek Bourbon Whiskey

When Knob Creek launched in 1992, it was an anomaly. At the time, small-batch bourbon with a steep price tag was not a common sight. Since then, America has experienced a bourbon boom, with whiskey lovers willing to shell out serious cash for premium booze. Born in Kentucky and praised across the nation, Knob Creek […]

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Why Is Oktoberfest Held in September?

Why Is Oktoberfest Held in September?

What’s in a name? This question may or may not reverberate among the 7.2 million revelers heading to Munich’s Oktoberfest in mid-September. This year the festivities start on September 14, more than two weeks before month’s end. Oktoberfest ends early the following month, on October 6. What gives? Why is the majority of Oktoberfest held in […]

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