And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails
Paul Revere likely had a swallow of the stuff to stiffen his resolve for his famous midnight ride. Blackbeard liked to mix his with gunpowder before igniting and swilling it while it flamed and popped. Ernest Hemingway drank tall "Papa Doble" daiquiris in Cuba, once consuming 16 in one sitting at the El Floridita in Havana. On election night in 1960, John F. Kennedy sipped daiquiris over dinner at his house in Hyannisport, Mass., before watching the election returns and, "while infused with the glow of a daiquiri," learning he would be the next president. Those are among the stories that Wayne Curtis recounts in his new book, And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails. The book chronicles the history of rum and how it shaped, and was shaped by, American history. Rum, writes Curtis, is the history of America in a bottle.