Monday, January 16, 2012

A Nothing Day Post Featuring Booze

For those of you who have never heard of National Nothing Day, let me enlighten you as I was illuminated by Trisha yesterday while visiting her blog A Reason to … Celebrate, Remember, Have Fun! BTW, we missed Rubber Duckie Day:)

Newspaper columnist Harold Pullman Coffin created National Nothing Day, first celebrated in 1973, "to provide Americans with one national day when they can just sit without celebrating, observing, or honoring anything."

After I left Trisha's, I headed on over to Cocktail Puppy and was once again apprised (and surprised:) to learn of a beverage I had never heard of before, The French 75 Cocktail. Immediately I ran to my book shelf to see if I could find out more about it. It looked tempting but did its name have a history? While flipping through pages and pages, I had an Epiphany. Rather than celebrating the day, why not relax and have you consume a few die-cut booklets from my "beverage" collection. I thought it also a subtle way to give a nod to Prohibition.

"When Prohibition went into effect in America on January 16, 1920, it did more than stop the legal sale of alcoholic beverages in our country...[it] increased the production of soft drinks, put hundreds of restaurants and hotels out of business, spurred the growth of tea rooms and cafeterias, and destroyed the last vestiges of fine dining in the United States...Hotels tried to reclaim some of their lost wine and spirit profits by selling candy and soda pop The fruit cocktail cup, often garnished with marshmallows or sprinkled with powdered sugar, took the place of oysters on the half shell with champagne and a dinner party opener....The American wine industry, unable to sell its wines legally, quickly turned its vinyards over to juice grapes. But only a small portion of the juice from the grapes was marketed as juice. Most of it was sold for home-brewed wine. Needless to say, this home brew was not usually a sophisticated viniferous product, but sales of the juice kept many of the vineyards in profits throughout Prohibition. Prohibition also brought about cooking wines and artificially flavored brandy, sherry, and rum extracts. Housewives were advised to omit salt when using cooking wines, as the wines themselves had been salted to make them undrinkable...Some cooks gave up on alcoholic touches, real or faux, altogether...The bad alcohol, the closing of fine restaurants, the sweet foods and drinks that took alcohol's place, the artificial flavors that were used to simulated alcohol, all these things could not help by have a deletrious effect on the American palate."Fashionable Foods: Seven Decades of Food Fads Sylvia Lovgren
(click on images to enlarge)
Since the days of the roistering buccaneers good apple brandy has been the favorite drink of iron men who manned the wooden ships, and of their hardy brethrens ashore. Today, Captain Apple Jack, with its mellow flavor and fine aroma, resonates the same hearty zest for living. This treasure chest contains a little loot for modern buccaneers of happiness. (dated 1935)
Captain Apple Jack

A cherished book in my collection is from Rochelle. In a serendipitous RAK (random act of kindness) Rochelle hostess of Rochelle's Vintage & Frugal Recipes slipped this booklet in my mail box via snail mail. As you can imagine, I was delightfully surprised!

And, we mustn't forget the Ginger Ale

I never did bookmark the page that revealed the history behind the name. Another day when I have nothing to do, I suppose:)


  1. Absolutely wonderful booklets! Thanks for sharing them Louise!

  2. Hi louise! We missed rubber duckie day?! awww... ='I

    I am marveling yet again at your grand cookbook collection. whats Creme Yvette in the Blue Moon cocktail recipe?

    The Prohibition of 1920 must have been a huge business too for some people. lol Alcohol and banned... what would happen if they would slid in this law in our lives all of a sudden? Many people wouldnt take it that well... Imagine onion soup without white wine O.O or choco mousse without cointreau.

  3. Hello my dear Louise what nice and lovely post I love your pictures, your draws and remember some of this, like Vermouth, my Mom loved so much, have a love day dear Louise

  4. Love the images. The Knight has this... habit? of falling for concoctions even Google hasn't heard of before. Le sigh. Maybe next time, I'll just email you! ;)

  5. I own one of those old bar cookbooks...it has a wooden cover. :)

    And I'm from Michigan and LOVE Vernors. I remember going to their factory and having a float.
    Fun post, Louise.

  6. I love all the old booklets. I will be saving this post for the next time we have friends over for drinks. It will be fun to make new cocktails.

  7. I'll take one of each!

    No, no... make that two of each!

  8. Always appreciate a liquor-inspired post!

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  10. Cute booklets! I'm not a big drinker, but I enjoy cocktails and good wine.



  11. Great collection of vintage cocktails, Louise! It must have been fun going through your books. An interesting note - my daughter asked just this morning if priests could drink wine at the altar for communion during Prohibition. I assumed so, but we looked it up and, yes, alcohol for sacramental purposes was exempt from the Volstead Act. I also read that there was a huge increase in permits to remove wine from churches bonded warehouses. Did Americans become more religious? hmmm

  12. Such a cute post with all the old pictures...love it, and always like ideas for cocktails and food that have booze :-)
    Have a great week Louise!

  13. even though i don't imbibe myself, i'm fascinated with and amazed by the number of cocktails that've been created over the years. people get really inventive with those things!

  14. The Frozen Pineapple salad looks yummy! I am not a drinker, but I am quite fascinated by the combinations/cocktails people come up with. I recently watched a news show featuring a local secret bar that mixed some drinks in paint cans and lit other drinks on fire. Alcohol can be quite exciting when it is drinkable and on fire I presume :) I love that you are on twitter! Keep up the good work!


  15. I'm all for celebrations featuring booze!

  16. One of my daughters gave me a calendar with a funny quote for each day. Monday's was, "I have a dream that people of all races and creeds can come together and blow off work and school on a random Monday in January." Your National Nothing Day.

  17. hi louise, you really have such a huge collection of these booklets! so pleasant looking at those pictures here. Our chinese new year celebration is just a couple of days away, everywhere is jam and packed and the whole of this and next week, many people will be booooozing away!

  18. I was at an event just last night where French 75 cocktails were on offer. And, I chose wine instead, so I don't even know how they were. Love those die-cut booklets! Pirate's Gold sounds delicious.

  19. Well, I found "nothing" here of great interest. Actually, I think I now have multiple ways to celebrate "nothing!" I went to college in the Bronx, so I think I'm going to have to try that Bronx cocktail!

  20. Thanks for the tag Louise! I'm enjoying discovering new and unique celebrations for "A Reason to ... Celebrate, Remember, Have Fun!"

    I'm also enjoying your posts and the fantastic collection of vintage cookbooks that you share with us!!

    Sorry it took me so long to get to your blog this week. It was inventory work at work and .... well ... I barely got my daily FB posts done. But inventory is now DONE! Hooray!

    Glad to see you discovered the cause of your eye problems. Hope the humidifier helps!

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Through this wide opened gate,
none came too early,
none returned too late.

Thanks for dropping in...Louise