Menus of the 1850s and 1860s


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They sure liked their sweet wine. I don’t know where you’d find a wine list these days with as much madeira, sherry, and port as all the regular white, red, and sparkling combined.


I like the concept of ‘breakfast wines’. I’ve never seen a breakfast menu including wine before.

Oh, and port with a full fried breakfast is fantastic - I heartily recommend it, especially after a rather heavy night.


boiled meat. mmm.


I now desperately want minced codfish, a side of cold corned beef, and a château Lafitte.

#Higgins, post haste!


Could you imagine downing a quart of claret to start the day? I confess to occasionally having an ounce or two of cider (or a kombucha, they tend to be 0.5% to 1%) on a special morning.

But a quart? I hope they were sharing.


And now we all know why wealthy people would spend top dollar to travel all the way to French Lick/West Baden, Indiana to spend a week drinking “Pluto Water” (the ghastly, sulphrous earth-bile belched forth from the “health-giving springs” that an angry Jehova placed there) and violently purging their poor, packed colons.


@L_Mariachi: I’ve read that on average some wines were just much sweeter back then. Especially champagnes - the preference for dry didn’t start until the second half of the 1800s.

@GyroMagician: Brunch menus, though…

@japhroaig: I wouldn’t be too sure, considering the commonly quoted figure (not sure where it comes from) that in the 1820s the average american adult drank seven gallons of alcohol (not alcoholic beverages, alcohol) each year. Especially is most of it was in the form of sweeter, weaker drinks, that adds up to a lot of volume.


Sure, but claret and Lafitte have never been below 9%, and I’ll bet you they were still 10-11%. A quart of claret would still be similar to an entire bottle of today’s merlot, alcohol wise.

That plus some hash and an omelette will make the train ride go muuuch faster though :slight_smile:


We really need to bring “(…) 1/2 o’clock” back into common usage.


#Thats what I’ve been missing!!!

Thank you Barnums City Hotel!

I’ve been planning thanksgiving, and the ultimate culinary anachronism is The Cheese Course, at the very end with a dry cappuccino or Turkish coffee.

Boingboing, @doctorow, I am the opposite of disappointed in you today! :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:


They weren’t sharing they were being awesome.

Or, if you rather, they were just gettting “business drunk” which is totally ok.


Eating instant coffee by a spoon? How college student-ish!


I know, right? Are we to infer that this was normal back then, or this hotel catered to hard-partying conventioneers and proto-frat dudes? Or, all hotels attracted this demo back then, but otherwise wine at breakfast was unusual?


that, and distribute a train and bus schedule at the place-settings, with

“Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.” --Benjamin Franklin

writ large across the bottom ;^)


Isn’t that what the guest bathroom is for? :stuck_out_tongue:


aw man, I ain’t never having you over!
: )


You might find “The Alcoholic Republic” an entertaining read.


2 1/2 o’clock - my favorite time of day!


A little bit on some ice cream is really good.