On some level, I knew that there have been times in history when people routinely drank more than we do now, but I’m still impressed by this:
It is impossible for Americans to accept the extent to which the Colonial period—including our most sacred political events—was suffused with alcohol. Protestant churches had wine with communion, the standard beverage at meals was beer or cider, and alcohol was served even at political gatherings. Alcohol was consumed at meetings of the Virginian and other state legislatures and, most of all, at the Constitutional Convention.
Indeed, we still have available the bar tab from a 1787 farewell party in Philadelphia for George Washington just days before the framers signed off on the Constitution. According to the bill preserved from the evening, the 55 attendees drank 54 bottles of Madeira, 60 bottles of claret, eight of whiskey, 22 of porter, eight of hard cider, 12 of beer, and seven bowls of alcoholic punch.
I just really, really want to see this incorporated into Sleepy Hollow. We’ve already had Zombie George Washington, but no Drunk George Washington? Everybody in those flashbacks is always stone cold sober! It would make for a great installment in the ongoing saga of “Ichabod Crane vs. the 21st Century,” too: “This week on Sleepy Hollow, Ichabod is completely baffled by the fact that despite being constantly bombarded by alcohol advertisements, people barely drink anymore.” And then it turns out that Sam Adams beer is brewed by the ghost of the actual Samuel Adams, because of course it is.