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Labor Day, what to drink?

Posted by Josh Childs  September 3, 2012 09:34 AM

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I'm certain one can find numerous suggestions for end of Summer intricate cocktails to celebrate the long weekend. However, for me, Labor Day is time for a Boilermaker, a shot and a beer; the classic worker’s drink.

Its origins are a little murky, the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers website recalls:

Perhaps the origin of the drink's name comes in some way from Richard Trevithick, an inventive Cornish blacksmith who was an early experimenter with steam-propelled vehicles. In 1801, on Christmas night in the Cornwall village of Cambourne, he set out to test his latest invention, a steam-propelled road vehicle.
Trevithick's vehicle succeeded in climbing the hill into the village carrying the inventor and some of his friends. When they reached a pub at the top of the hill, they parked the vehicle in a shed and went inside to celebrate their success in holiday season style.
As the celebration continued, everyone forgot about the fire in the vehicle's boiler. It continued to burn until the water ran dry. When the party was over, they discovered that the wooden structural members had caught fire and the vehicle was reduced to a mass of tangled scrap.

Certainly, this was not the first time in history that there has been a drunken mishap, or a good lesson: do not drink and drive. A great story, but I like the idea that the term was first used to refer to the craftsmen who built and maintained steam locomotives in 1834, and it followed that a drink of choice became their namesake.

Ausable Inn.jpg


In the small town of Keene Valley, NY, in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains, is where I’m having a Boilermaker. A shot of Jim Beam and a Long Trail Ale; now that’s real mixology.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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