Raise your Whiskey Glass, it’s the 4th of July!
Did you know that eight Irish signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776? Although an American holiday, this date holds significant weight for both Ireland and America. Immigration to America from Ireland took off in the 1720s and by 1790, almost half a million were of Irish ancestry or birth. Immigration continued into the new century and with it the free lives of the Irish-American.
There was also something else that immigrated to America all those years ago. The idea of whiskey-making. That’s right. Irish and Scottish immigrants began opening distilleries in their new homes with new ingredients. Whiskey began extremely popular and was even used as currency by distillers during the Revolutionary War! Although America soon gained its independence, whiskey did not. An excise tax was applied to domestically produced whiskey, known as the “Whiskey Tax”, to help pay off the recent war in 1791. This led to the “Whiskey Rebellion” between the angry farmers and the US government. One protest even had to be settled by a militia of 13,000 by President George Washington! The protestors were soon put in their places, but the politics behind the issue did not dwindle down with them. In fact, a contributing factor to Thomas Jefferson’s successful Presidential election was his promise to lift the Whiskey Tax in 1801. Unfortunately, alcohol hit another obstacle in 1920 with the Prohibition era, but whiskey was also the exception to the rule. Medicinal whiskey was the only spirit allowed to be produced! In 1933 the Prohibition ended after Franklin D. Roosevelt took office as President and whiskey was once again popularized. Out of the history grew different variations of whiskey such as American bourbon. Today, whiskey can be enjoyed throughout the country from the famous American Whiskey Trail, established in 2004, to the porch benches of American citizens in the South.
So, as you can see, Ireland and America have some history. Why not celebrate it? From immigration to signing the actual document of freedom, we should recognize just how far both countries have come and the links we share. Whiskey brings everyone together. So, whether you’re a fan of the traditional, smooth Irish whiskey or the classic American flavor, there is sure to be something for everyone to celebrate with. If you’re in Dublin on the fourth, come in and see us at the Irish Whiskey Museum and raise a glass to the 4th of July!
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History.com Staff. “Prohibition.” History.com. A&E Television Networks, 2009. Web. 21 June 2017. <http://www.history.com/topics/prohibition>.
Keane, Brendan Patrick. “The Irish Who Signed the Declaration of Independence (PHOTOS).” IrishCentral.com. IrishCentral LLC, 21 Apr. 2017. Web. 21 June 2017. <https://www.irishcentral.com/opinion/others/the-irish-side-of-the-american-declaration-of-independence-97713259-238038151
Regan, Gary, and Mardee Haidin Regan. “History of Spirits in America.” Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, n.d. Web. 21 June 2017. <http://www.discus.org/heritage/spirits/>.
Santry, Claire. “Irish American History to 1845.” Irish American History. The Story of Irish American Immigration from the 17th Century to 1845. Claire Santry, n.d. Web. 21 June 2017. <http://www.irish-genealogy-toolkit.com/Irish-American-history.html>.
“Whiskey History: A Timeline of Whiskey.” The Bottleneck Blog. Bottleneck Management, 20 Nov. 2014. Web. 21 June 2017. <http://www.bottleneckmgmt.com/blog/whiskey-history-timeline/>.