Pennsylvania and Its Whiskey Rebellion

Pennsylvania and Its Whiskey Rebellion

With the American Whiskey Convention coming to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s whiskey history has been on the brain.  Our most famous Pennsylvanian claim to historic infamy is the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794. After the Revolutionary War, the newly formed United States were in a great deal of debt.  Alexander Hamilton estimated that debt to be around $54 million.  Hamilton was Secretary of the Treasury during George Washington’s presidency and he proposed the taxation of alcohol to pay off the country’s looming debt.  The tax called for 11 cents per gallon of spirits.  (To think that that amount of money could pay off that huge debt in a few years just goes to show how much Americans were drinking at the time.)  In 1791, Washington and his new government began to...

William McKinley’s Political Cocktail

Today was the day President McKinley was shot… What does this have to do with whiskey, you ask? William McKinley had a cocktail named after him while he was running for president in 1896. Of course, so did his opponent, William Jennings Bryan…(Bryan’s was the Free Silver Fizz) Handing out booze was common practice when running for office. Even George Washington knew that handing out free liquor was the best way to secure votes. In fact, the first reference we have to the term “cocktail” comes from 1806, in a newspaper article describing how a Federalist defeated a Democratic-Republican candidate in New York’s Hudson River Valley despite the latter’s attempt to secure votes by handing out almost 300 mixed drinks....