Do you know who was the nation’s largest distiller in 1799? Here’s a hint: he is first in the hearts of his countrymen (I’m sure the booze helped with that). That’s right, George Washington, of Revolutionary War and first President fame, was the nation’s largest distiller of whiskey at the time of his death. But the really interesting thing is we still have his whiskey recipe, and the amazing people at Mount Vernon, George Washington’s home, have been brewing it for the past two years, using historical distilling techniques (full disclosure: my mother works at Mount Vernon and is responsible for bottling and selling the whiskey).
On July 4th, Mount Vernon sold their latest batch of the unaged rye whiskey (Roll Call; subscription required). That’s right, it’s an unaged whiskey; it spent no time in barrels, and thus doesn’t have the color of a typical whiskey. It’s also strong, coming out at 43% alcohol. To give an idea on how strong, my mom likes to tell a story that when her staff bottled the first batch last year, the fumes actually got one of her employees tipsy. It’s made in limited quantities (around 400 bottles), and they only sell it two or three times a year. Lines are long and the bottles go quickly, even at a hefty sum ($95). Continue reading →
George and Abe were spotted on M street at 11:45 this morning in front of Waterworks. The lovable mascots are handing out postcards to save $10 for tickets to Nationals’ games in August. Just use the coupon code “AUGUST” when you go to make your purchase here.
Every Friday for the next six weeks, the International Spy Museum (ISM) will be debuting a new exhibit within the museum, including the addition of several new rare artifacts from the shadowy world of espionage. These new additions (some for a limited time only) join the already-extensive collection regarding the world’s “second-oldest profession” and the new gallery dedicated to espionage in the 21st Century. Several of these exhibits will tie into special programs occurring at the museum over the next few months, covering not only the secret history of spying but also exploring today’s hottest topics that daily impact the world of intelligence. “Espionage deals with clandestine, hidden information and the best spies make sure their every trace disappears, which makes finding personal pieces of tradecraft very challenging,” says Anna Slafer, ISM’s Director of Exhibitions and Programs. “Many of our new artifacts have to come us from intelligence agencies and the families of these famous spies, giving us a detailed story of these object’s role in history.”
Ever done a nighttime walk through Old Town over in Alexandria?
If you’ve ever been over across the Potomac for dinner some weekend evening, you’re aware of the “period people” who meander along King Street, sharing the city’s history with passersby and giving the place a quaint atmosphere. (At least, a much better one than that of creepy Williamsburg.)
One of the key places along the King Street corridor is Gadsby’s Tavern, the center of social and political life in Alexandria during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Continue reading →