There was a day not so long ago (okay, maybe 100 years ago or so) when it wasn't taboo to give kids some beer. It was good for them, all nutritious and stuff.

Now, we're not into giving our kids beer (our wives keep a close eye on us), but it sure must have been a different time to yell, "Hey Bobby, go to the fridge and get me a beer, and while you're at it, get one for you too!"

"Gee, thanks dad!"

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Advertisement for Beenleigh Rum 1921National Rum Day is upon us and what a great spirit to celebrate!! Not only is it one of the most, if not the most, widely used spirits in cocktails, it also has a fascinating history.

It all started in 17th century Barbados, though some argue it was actually in Brazil, when there was literally so much molasses (a by-product of making sugar) that plantation owners, not having any use for the stuff, dumped it into the ocean. It wasn't long before some crafty slaves figured out a way to ferment and later distill the molasses in turn creating the early predecessor to rum (which more closely resembles present day Guaro than rum).   Add a comment

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Let’s face it; dive bars are probably one of society’s accidentally-created best things ever. In reality, they’re simply neighborhood places that serve cheap drinks and have no-nonsense attitudes. These are the places that pretty much say, “don’t F*** with anyone here and everything’s fine.”

Their drinks are simple, you can be left alone to drink or talk in private, and d-bags aren’t welcome. But that's not all there is to them. Dive bars have that something special that make you feel welcome as soon as you walk in.

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gin-and-tonicGin's journey through history is an interesting one. Gin was not created in England as most believe--though few drinks scream English or England more than the Gin and Tonic. It was created in Holland (dating as far back as the 13th century) as a medicinal to treat stomach issues, gout, gallstones and a long list of other ailments. It wasn't initially flavored with Juniper either, the flavor was added later to increase its medicinal qualities and to help with taste, it is believed other less desirable botanicals were used.

England got their hands on the spirit when they observed Dutch soldiers drinking it either during the 30 year war or during the Dutch War of Independence in the 1580s (depending on which story you choose to believe) at which time it was widely known as "Dutch Courage".  It was named as such because Dutch Soldiers consumed it to boost morale (and probably courage) before battle and/or to help warm themselves during cold damp periods. It didn't take long for English soldiers to get their hands on it and start bringing it back home where it was an instant hit.  Add a comment

It’s not much to look at. The structure actually leans a bit and most people would probably wonder if it was in danger of collapsing. The tin-metal roof is rusted and curling at the corners. The wreath on the front door is worn and dull.

snake-n-jakes

But take a breath, steel your nerves and walk through the door.

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