Thursday, February 20, 2014

They knew how to throw a party

From Entertainment of George Washington at City Tavern, Philadelphia, September 1787 by Gordon Lloyd. I have seen some menus and recipes of 19th and 18th century parties and celebrations and they can be arresting both for what was considered acceptable fare (larks tongue perhaps) as well as the complexity and variety of dishes. But most of all, for how much alcohol they could pack away.

On that note, in this event, the farewell dinner for George Washington in Philadelphia, put on by the First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry. Looks like there was a party of 55 gentlemen and in the course of the evening they drank 54 bottles of Madeira (a fortified wine), 60 bottles of claret, 22 bottles of Port (another fortified wine), 8 bottles of ale, 8 bottles of cider, 12 of beer and 7 bowels of punch. And a rollicking good time was had by all I imagine.

Take a look at the attached article which has the itemized bill for the evening, amounting to $15,400 in today's money or $280 per person.

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