Nitrous, weed, opium and peach-pits: the intoxicants of 18th C England


Originally published at:


Amazon still sells apricot kernels. People buy them because they think they will either cure cancer or prevent cancer. Reading the reviews for them is a very sad experience.


Am already designing party invitations to ‘the thrilling’


There were traveling “laughing gas shows” back in the 1800s and early 1900s. There was even a Gunsmoke episode about it (both radio and TV - same story, different cast).


This puts a welcome light on our forebears, who were more fun-loving than usually credited. As a Getting-High-Ology major, I cannot begin to tell you how under-reported such activities have been.

John Hancock, for example, was stoned out of his gourd when signing the Declaration of Independence (which he mistook for a birthday card for Jefferson) & scrambled to come up with the defiance story later when he realized what he’d done.

Let the laughing parties reclaim their rightful prominence!


Man, recreational hydrogen cyanide is a new one for me. That’s pretty hard core.


What’s next, recreational hydrofluoric acid?


Cascade makes some beers with noyaux (apricot pits). It’s good.


the Scots were also smoking some kind of mold that grows on sour fruit. mixed w/ tobacco & dried mushrooms. probably just as well the recipe’s lost, people couldn’t walk or stand up for days.


It’s pretty much always a good idea to tread lightly around any mycotoxin that interacts strongly enough with your nervous system to be considered entertaining.

It doesn’t always stay that way.


Isn’t Southern Comfort made with peach pits? Or is that urban legend?


If “good-time” is also defined as religious then yes. It’s interesting to see what people as early as the neolithic age took to hear/see/speak to the gods …
There is scarcely a settlement in the neolithic or bronze age where poppy (among other stuff) wasn’t cultivated.


Dunno, that’s the first time I’ve heard that. From Wikipedia:

In an episode of The Thirsty Traveler entitled “A River of Whiskey,” spirits historian Chris Morris describes the original recipe of Southern Comfort. Heron began with good-quality bourbon and would add: “An inch of vanilla bean, about a quarter of a lemon, half of a cinnamon stick, four cloves, a few cherries, and an orange bit or two. He would let this soak for days. And right when he was ready to finish, he would add his sweetener: he liked to use honey.”[8]


he liked to use honey

Like Elrond my memory reaches back even unto the Elder Days, in this case back to the days when Coca-Cola syrup was distributed to the bottlers in pony-size wooden kegs instead of aluminum. A real honest-to-Ghod moonshiner once explained to me the value these little barrels had for 'shiners who actually wanted to cook up a quality product, i.e. one that was aged a bit longer than the length of time it took to drip from your condenser coil into your Mason jar. These little barrels were far and away the aging container of choice. Your sweetener was the Coca-Cola syrup that had soaked into the wood. Bonus, it even gave your fresh hootch a bit of color, unlike the ordinary run which was as clear as vodka.


That’s pretty awesome. I’ve aged a couple of cocktails in wooden barrels, but those things are $50 for a 2L. Would be nice to be able to get some free like that, although I doubt the lingering coke flavor would complement and Old Fashioned. But maybe it would.

closed #16

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.