A toast to the Titanic

Today, April 15, marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic and the loss of more than 1,500 lives. The largest ship afloat, the Titanic was also designed to be the most luxurious, and many prominent people of the day booked passage on her maiden voyage. Wine Enthusiast magazine wondered what libations those first-class passengers would have enjoyed.

According to the magazine, the ship’s manifest included 1,000 bottles of wine, 850 spirits bottles and 191 liquor cases. Little else was recorded, but a 1911 cocktail menu from the Olympic, Titanic’s sister ship, lists the Tom Collins, the John Collins and the Manhattan. While it has evolved to more commonly include bourbon, the Manhattan would have been made with rye whiskey at the time. Read the entire Wine Enthusiast item here.

Interesting trivia: In James Cameron’s “Titanic,” one of the last people Rose sees before the ship plunges into the sea is a man in white drinking from a flask. That’s Chief Baker Charles Joughin, who was one of the few passengers to survive the freezing water long enough to be picked up by a lifeboat. Walter Lord’s “A Night to Remember” credits Joughin’s survival to “a remarkable combination of initiative, luck and alcohol” – it was whiskey in that flask.

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