Drunk History: The Rise, Fall, and Revival of All-American Whiskey

Ok it’s not wine but it’s whiskey.  Most of us who love wine also love whiskey.

At a time when obscure new whiskeys are appearing on cocktail menus from Savannah to Seattle, it’s hard to imagine the American whiskey industry was ever under threat. For starters, the grain-based spirit is as American as apple pie, or at least George Washington—in fact, the first president’s Mount Vernon estate was once the site of the country’s largest distillery, specializing in the Mid-Atlantic region’s famous rye whiskey. But despite its noble foundations, America’s whiskey industry suffered repeated setbacks, like our 13-year Prohibition on alcohol, which nearly drove it to extinction.

In the early 20th century, some distillers survived attacks from anti-alcohol prohibitionists by promoting the drink as an important medicine, creating a legal marketplace similar to medical marijuana today. But even after 1933, when the public got fed up with Prohibition’s silly charade, the massive diversion of resources toward World War II coupled with customers’ changing tastes in alcohol delivered further blows to whiskey distilleries, leaving the industry grasping at straws throughout the 1980s and ’90s.



Ixel Balamke

Ixel Balamke was one of the two founding members of Sekhet-Bast-Ra in Oklahoma City. Currently living in the Twin Cities, she is currently the LBM of Leaping Laughter Lodge. She also is a Meanad and lover of fine wines. Her life long partner Hunahpu and she are well known for their Wine Tastings at NOTOCON. Together they have a small wine cellar that currently holds over 300 bottles.

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