Tuesday, January 4, 2011

American Drinks (1873)

I ran across another report of "American Drinks at the Vienna Exposition" while researching a recipe for an upcoming post. This telling was recorded by the author from the "Hotel Austria, Vienna, June 2, 1873", the same time period of my earlier post from an article that ran in the NY Times. 

This account was written by Charles Carroll Fulton and published in his 1878 title, "Europe viewed through American Spectacles". 


The warm weather had its effect on one branch of Americanism on exhibition here. A month ago the impression was very general that the American bars would do a very poor business, on account of the high cost of their drinks, as well as from the fact that a half-gallon of beer could be had for the cost of one of their fancy glasses. They were then occasionally drunk as a matter of curiosity, and several Germans could be now and then seen at one of the tables with a solitary "cobbler" or "cocktail," each taking an occasional suck through the straw, and discussing its merits. It was a mere testing process, each, according to German custom, paying his share of the expense. Yesterday, however, the American bars were thronged with visitors, and the colored waiters, who are decided objects of curiosity, were kept busy filling their orders. These waiters are a sharp set of fellows, most of them from New York, and are of all shades, from the coal-black to the yellow pine. The former tell many amusing stories of their experience, and they seem to enjoy the inspection that they are constantly subject to. They have picked up a little German, but are each provided with a price-list, which they hand to the customer, who points out the article he desires. The following is a list of the plain American drinks that our German friends are beginning to learn to like, which are served up, smothered in crushed ice, at thirty, fifty, sixty, and eighty kreutzers each, or at fifteen, twenty-five, thirty, and forty cents in American currency, under the title of "American Mixed Drinks:"

Apple jack and cocktail-Jersey, brandy and soda (English), brandy champarelle, brandy crusta, brandy fix, brandy julep, brandy punch, brandy sangaree, brandy sling, brandy smash, brandy sour, brandy toddy, Baltimore egg-nogg, Boehm & Wiebl's favorite, claret cup, claret cobbler, claret punch, claret sangaree, Catawba cobbler, Catawba punch, champagne punch, champagne cobbler, champagne cocktail, egg flip, eye-opener, French cocktail, gin cocktail, gin julep, gin crusta, gin punch, gin sling, gin smash, gin sour, gin toddy, hock cobbler, John Collins (English), Indian wigwam punch, Jamaica rum punch, Jamaica rum sour, Knickerbocker, lemonade (plain), lemonade (with a stick), lemonade (fancy), milk punch, Metropolitan punch (U.S.A.), pousse cafe (New York style), pousse cafe (New Orleans), pectoral (Cuban), port wine sangaree, pine-apple punch, port wine flip, porteree, phlegmcutter, sherry and bitters (plain), sherry and egg, sherry cobbler, Shanghai Saratoga, soda cocktail, St. Croix fix, St. Croix sour, St. Croix punch, whisky cocktail, whisky punch, whisky julep, and old. Kentucky, whisky sling, whisky smash, whisky sour.

The champagne punches and cobblers are a florin and a half each, or seventyfive cents in our money. The plain drinks, which are equally numerous, range from twenty to forty cents each, or forty kreutzers and upwards. Fifteen per cent, of all the receipts, however, go to the Exposition fund.

Hotel Austria, Vienna, June 2, 1873.

In 1873, twenty to forty cents would be about $5-$10. Seventyfive cents would be around $18-$20. So inflation considered, these drinks were reasonably priced by today's standards.

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