Drinking Boston: A History of the City and Its Spirits

Drinking Boston: A History of the City and Its Spirits

by Stephanie Schorow


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Drinking Boston: A History of the City and Its Spirits by Stephanie Schorow

From the revolutionary camaraderie of the Colonial taverns to the saloons of the turn of the century; from Prohibition—a period rife with class politics, social reform, and opportunism—to a trail of nightclub neon so vast, it was called the "Conga Belt," Drinking Boston is a tribute to the fascinating role alcohol has played throughout the city's history. Teasing out this curious relationship—in particular, the clash between a constrained Puritanism (lingering like a hangover today) and a raucous revolutionary spirit—Drinking Boston introduces the cast of characters who championed or vilified drinking and the places where they imbibed—legally and otherwise. Visiting some of Boston's most storied neighborhood bars, this pub crawl ends with Boston's distinct recipe for the current cocktail renaissance sweeping the nation. Stephanie Schorow serves up a remarkable cocktail representative of Boston's intoxicating story: its spirit of invention, its hardscrabble politics, its mythology, and the city's never-ending battle between personal freedom and civic reform.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781934598092
Publisher: Union Park Press
Publication date: 10/12/2012
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 8.80(w) x 5.90(h) x 0.30(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 10

Introduction: Recipe for a Drinking Town 13

Taverns in Old Boston: The Spirit of Revolution 25

Boston's Saloon History: Democracy on Tap 45


Part I: So Long, John Barleycorn 75

Part II: Inside the Speakeasy 91

Part III: Gangsters and Do-Gooders 103

Part IV: John Barleycorn Lives 123

The Conga Belt: Nightclubs in Boston 131

Boston's Brewing Past 157

Neighborhood Bars: Boston's Home Away from Home 171

Revolution in a Cocktail Glass 207

Conclusion: The Mystery of the Ward Eight 229

A Glossary of Drinks, Cocktails, and Select Ingredients 244

Bibliography 262

Notes on Sources 266

Index 274

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