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:)