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Hamilton Beach Commercial Blog


Happy hour way back when


There must have been many reasons to "get happy" back in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s in the newly formed United States, when happy hours typically started around 3 pm and continued until dinner.

Maybe that’s why George Washington always ate late.

It was President George who also became the country’s first major distiller of whiskey. Even Martha Washington relaxed with a toddy each day. Thomas Jefferson wrote the first draft of the Declaration Of Independence in a tavern, and every signer of the Declaration drank alcoholic beverages.  

At first glance, it is hard to miss the gigantic signature of John Hancock on the Declaration of Independence. While Hancock wanted to make sure the poor eyesight of King George would clearly see his name, the size is said to have also been attributable to Hancock’s penchant for tipping the bottle as well. In fact, his alcohol smuggling business - run off the books to avoid British taxes - was so lucrative that at one time he was the wealthiest man in all the colonies. 

And then, after drafting the United States Constitution, the 55 people involved in its creation celebrated with a massive party that included a bill for 60 bottles of claret, 54 bottles of Madeira, 22 bottles of port, 12 beers, 8 bottles of whiskey, 8 bottles of hard cider and 7 bowls of alcohol punch. 

We'll leave it to you to do the math.

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Topics: Drink trivia, Featured, History, Beverage, whiskey, bourbon

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