To Plan A Trip

Saint-Pierre and Miquelon may be reached via the SPM Express ferry from Fortune, Newfoundland ( www.spmexpress.net / 800-563-2006) or on Air Saint-Pierre from Montreal, St. John’s, or Halifax, with additional departure cities in summer ( www.airsaintpierre.com / 877-277-7765). Read more »

Bootleg Paradise

Seeking a monument to Prohibition’s immense impact on American society, the writer finds it in a French colony.

Prohibition ranks among America’s most vivid historic epochs. Yet the era of flappers and jazz is also curiously Oz-like. The drinking ban dominated the American social and cultural conversation between 1920 and 1933. Then one day the country awoke as if from a dream to find all traces of it gone, save for a few bootlegged bottles that washed up at local historical society museums, flotsam on history’s beach. Read more »

The American Spirit

Bourbon whiskey has had a long, rugged ride from the frontier to the top shelf

 

After two hundred years bourbon whiskey appears to be coming into its own. It is one of America’s unique cultural contributions to the world, our native equivalent to single-malt Scotch or Cuban cigars or Russian caviar, but it has never been the object of the esteem and connoisseurship those luxuries enjoy. Its history has to a large extent been one of struggle against moralism, corruption, and capricious popular taste, along with gradual improvement from frontier swill into genuine delicacy. Read more »

“there Is Something About A Martini”

IT’S MORE THAN JUST A POTENT DRINK, AND MORE THAN THE INSPIRATION FOR SOME HANDSOME ANCILLARY EQUIPMENT. IT IS MODERN TIMES, BROUGHT TO YOU IN A BEAUTIFUL CHALICE.

In November 1943, as Allied leaders met in Teheran to plan the defeat of Nazism, Franklin Roosevelt asked Joseph Stalin to join in a toast. Inevitably, at that moment in history, the drink the American President offered was a dry martini. Read more »

Reflections On The Dry Season

The voice down at the other end of the table was edged with irritation. “Damn it, Prohibition was a failure too. You’d think we’d have learned something by now!” Then my friend turned to the dinner party’s in-house historian. “Right, Bernie?”

“Sure” was my quick answer. Like most quick answers, it was too easy. Read more »

What Happened In Hinton

Back in Prohibition days, the citizens of a West Virginia town decided to crack down on bootlegging and prostitution. The author remembers it well.

How does one describe a small town? And how does one explain a town when it sets out to catch all its sinners? All I can do is tell you a little of the history of my hometown, Hinton, Summers County, West Virginia, as I remember it. Read more »