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A Sin and A Secret: Whose Fault Was It Really: Isabella or Elizabeth? and Long Island Iced Tea

Detail from Jan Steen, Leaving the Tavern, c1660
Detail from Jan Steen, Leaving the Tavern, c1660

Welcome back to another "A Sin and A Secret." Mix yourself a drink based on a colonial recipe and then curl with a completely true, completely salacious story. Enjoy a new #ASinAndASecret post every week. Read more in the series here.

Isabella Arena and Elizabeth Kelly

Residents of Anne Arundel County were no strangers to disruptive women in taverns. In November of 1747, an Annapolis tavern keeper named Elizabeth Kelly found herself embroiled in a court case with a woman named Isabella Arena.

Isabella charged her with an assault, saying Kelly “did beat, wound, and evilly treat [me] so that [my] life it was despaired.”

Elizabeth remembered a very different version of events. She recalled that Isabella “was drunk with drinking strong liquors and did with force and arms come into the dwelling house.” Upon discovering Isabella to be drunk, Elizabeth told her to leave, which Isabella “altogether refused to do.” Elizabeth then “gently put her hand upon the aforesaid Isabella to cause her… to go out of the dwelling house.”

Elizabeth claimed that any injury done to Isabella was due to Isabella’s drunkenness, not an assault.

The court decided in Elizabeth’s favor and ordered Isabella to pay 456 to Elizabeth for court costs and damages.

A Merry Company in a Tavern - Richard Brackenburgh, c1676
A Merry Company in a Tavern - Richard Brackenburgh, c1676

In honor of this belligerent encounter, we have paired this story with a modern cocktail with plenty of alcohol.

Long Island Iced Tea
Long Island Iced Tea

Long Island Iced Tea

· 3/4 oz Vodka

· 3/4 oz White rum

· 3/4 oz Silver tequila

· 3/4 oz Gin

· 3/4 oz Triple sec

· 3/4 oz Simple Syrup

· 3/4 oz Fresh lemon juice

· Cola, to top

· Garnish: Lemon wedge

1. To a cocktail shaker full of ice, add all ingredients MINUS the cola and shake until cold.

2. Strain into serving glass full of ice, top with cola for color and garnish with lemon wedge.

3. Enjoy responsibly!


Select Drink Recipe Sources for the Series:

  • Alderman, Clifford Lindsey, "Of Drinks & Drinkers," Early American Life, December 1975, pgs 87-88, 91 - 93

  • Bullock, Helen, The Williamsburg Art of Cookery or Accomplished Gentlewoman's Companion: Being a Collection of Upwards of Five Hundred of the Most Ancient and Approv'd Recipes in Virginia Cookery, Colonial Williamsburg and Dietz Press: Richmond, VA, 1938

  • Carr, Eve, "Home-Grown Treats," Mid-Atlantic Country, December, 1986 pgs. 34 - 35, 58

  • Gaspee Days Committee,

  • Mackin, Jeanne, "Flowing Bowl," Americana, pgs. 39 - 41

  • Stief, Frederick Philip, Eat, Drink, & Be Merry in Maryland, Johns Hopkins Press: Baltimore, MD, 1932

  • Tilp, Frederick, "Tips on Tippling from Tidewater Maryland," Maryland Magazine, 1978, pgs. 14 - 17

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