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
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
We have paired these stories with the reviving drink, Rumrousal.
1 quart rum
3 quarts whole milk
1 and a half cups honey
Half pint bourbon
Mix all ingredients in a pot and stir over low to medium heat.
Pour into a punch bowl and serve hot.
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
Grow the ReLeaf Fund
Recently, London Town launched the ReLeaf Fund. This newly created fund was inspired by the cycle of renewal in our gardens. Donations to it will ensure that London Town will grow again. Funds will be matched up to $35,000! Learn more and donate today!
London Town: Today and Tomorrow Survey
You may have noticed an increase in our online postings lately. Will you take a short survey about what posts and virtual programs you'd like? You can also share your thoughts about re-opening London Town and what sort of programs you'd like to see after the crisis is over. Take the survey here
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