Tuesday’s Shot of Bourbon Trivia

Abraham Lincoln is the only U.S. president who was also a licensed bartender.

In 1833 he opened Berry and Lincoln, a store and saloon in New Salem, Ill., with William F. Berry, a friend from his militia days. What did they serve? According to Chicagoist.com: “Half pints of French brandy for 25 cents, peach brandy for 18.75 cents, and apple brandy for 12 cents. Half pints of Holland gin cost 18.75 cents, while domestic gin was 12.5 cents. Wine cost 25 cents, rum was 18.75 cents, and whiskey was 12.5 cents.”

The venture didn’t last long, however, as William Berry was apparently an alcoholic who drank during business hours. Lincoln sold his interest in the store to Berry after three months; when Berry died two years later, Lincoln assumed the debt, finally paying it off in 1848.

Sources: The Frazier History Museum, Louisville, Ky.; Chicagoist.com

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