Happy 4th of July one and all, I hope you are enjoying your Independence Day celebrations with lots of fireworks, whiskey (and whisky) and the usual array of awesome food whilst being surrounded by those you love.
I’m planning a whisky tasting at home in honour of the event this year where I will have a line up that includes:
- Virginia Distillery Company’s Virginia Highland Malt Whisky
- Wild Turkey 101 (and maybe a Wild Turkey 81 based cocktail)
- Koval Rye from Chicago
- Cutty Sark Prohibition (not American but the story behind it works for me)
- High West Whiskey Campfire
What will you be sipping?
I’m sure you are more familiar than I with the concept of Independence Day but for those unaware of the back story, here’s a topline.
July 4th 1776 is the official date at which America’s founding fathers declared independence from Great Britain. Whilst our transatlantic cousins remained close allies and have held a ‘special bond’ politically and through the military over the last couple hundred years, the declaration ultimately meant America no longer needed to do what the British King told them to do.
At the time this was a very brave move, a move that ultimately paid off and formed not only a global superpower but later afforded each POTUS (or President Of The United States for non-West Wing addicts) the honorary title of ‘Leader of the Free World’.
Why was it a risky thing to do? Well back then Britain ruled the world, literally.
Britain’s army was enviable and sprawling, stronger than most and at the forefront of military technology at the time. Also, going against the King’s orders and wishes was an act of treason at the time, a crime punishable by death.
The Declaration of Independence was actually a letter to King George that had been written on July 2 by Thomas Jefferson. It was a formal explanation of why the Continental Congress voted to declare independence from Great Britain. It was meant to justify a revolt against the British, with a list of charges against the British king.
The main problem is that the colonists were angry they were being taxed by the Bristish government, and they had no vote or voice in the decisions that affected them.
In hindsight I think there are not many who would disagree with the notion that the King’s rules were unfair and harsh in places for the day, not at all now as the Monarchy here in Britain is more of a figurehead and symbol than a ruling family.
The Declaration of Independence was signed by 56 men representing the 13 colonies.
So these founding fathers risked and entered all out war with the best military of the time to obtain their freedom and they got it.
In 1783, the new United States won that war, which we now call the Revolutionary War.
We’re all good friends now though, thankfully – the whisky needs this interdependence on spent bourbon casks and you guys simply love our Scotch!
I encourage all GreatDrammers to raise a dram to celebrate Independence Day and July 4th, enjoy the terroir of the four famous and quintessentially American drinks: rye, malt, wheat, or bourbon whiskey; American-brewed beer; American vintage wines; or hard cider.
And be sure to buy some 4th July themed booze products (see below).