A Sin and A Secret: Too Much to Drink & Rumrousal

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.

We have some cautionary tales of about those who were besotted with liquor in the wintertime, to their detriment.


Losing a Fight with a Tree


A January 8, 1761 Maryland Gazette article reads as follows: “Sunday Morning last, Samuel Tyler, an Overseer, was found Dead, in the Snow near the Head of Severn. He was seen very much in Liquor the Evening before, and is suppos’d to have fell from his Horse and perish’d with the Cold. It is said, that when he was overcome with strong Drink, he used to be a mere Mad-man, and would even Quarrel with his own Shadow; and by his Knuckles being bruised, and a Tree near where he lay being Bloody, and the Bark a little beat off, it is supposed he Quarrelled and Fought with the Tree.”


"It is said, that when he was overcome with strong Drink, he used to be a mere Mad-man, and would even Quarrel with his own Shadow" - Maryland Gazette, 1761

Maryland Gazette, January 8, 1761

The Fortune Teller


London Town had witnessed a similar occurrence almost exactly 10 years earlier. Another Maryland Gazette article from January 23, 1751 describes the misfortunes of a fortune teller: “Saturday last an old Man, supposed to be near Seventy, was found almost Dead, and quite Speechless, at a little Distance from Town, and taken up in a Cart and brought in, where he died soon after. All that we can learn about him, is, that he came from some one of the lower Counties, and had been some Days at and about South River Ferry, pretending to tell Fortunes, and Sotting with Drams, and other strong Drink.”


"...He came from some one of the lower Counties... pretending to tell Fortunes, and Sotting with Drams, and other strong Drink.” - Maryland Gazette, 1751


Maryland Gazette, January 8, 1761

Rumrousal

We have paired these stories with the reviving drink, Rumrousal.


Rumrousal


  • 1 quart rum

  • 3 quarts whole milk

  • 1 and a half cups honey

  • Half pint bourbon


  1. Mix all ingredients in a pot and stir over low to medium heat.

  2. Pour into a punch bowl and serve hot.

  3. Makes 4 ½ quarts (36 3-ounce servings)


To make a single serving use:

  • 2 ounces rum

  • 1 ounce bourbon

  • A generous splash of milk

  • 1 tablespoon honey or to taste


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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, www.gaspee.org/colonialrecipes.html

  • 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