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Alcohol and Politics in Colonial Newport

December 7, 2023 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

$20 – $25

Thursday December 7, 2023 at 5:30pm.

Colony House, Washington Square

It may surprise many to learn that on average Colonial Americans consumed twice the volume of alcohol than a modern American. They held fast to their belief that alcohol cured illness, lifted spirits, commemorated cultural events, and just made things generally better. In fact, it was not surprising to see alcohol accompanying any meal, and taverns were the hub of cultural and social interactions. On Thursday December 7 at 5:30pm, the Newport Historical Society is pleased to host Maria Chiancola, Ph.D. for the talk Alcohol and Politics in Colonial America.

What colonists were drinking was not so far from our own social practices today—fermented fruit wines, beer, cider, and, of course, rum. The truth is that our relationship to alcohol has long been part of a political history that reveals a lot about our association of celebration and throwing back a few drinks! Maria will take a closer look at the celebratory beverages of Colonial Newport and consider how our relationship to alcohol has evolved. After the talk, following in colonial custom, enjoy a signature cocktail to celebrate the holiday season.

Maria Chiancola is the owner and operator of Newport Wine Cellar & Gourmet. She is a writer, educator, and wine maker. She holds a PhD in English Literature from the University of Rhode Island and has an advanced degree in WSET. She writes regularly for her blog, Pressed For Thought, and recently started a podcast to share the stories of those who make and those who sell wine, entitled Makers & Mongers. This program takes place at the Colony House at the top of Washington Square. Admission costs $25 per person, $20 Newport Historical Society members along with active-duty military. The admission price includes the cost of the signature cocktail. Tickets can be purchased online at NewportHistory.org/events. Advance registration is encouraged as space is limited.

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December 7, 2023
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
$20 – $25
Event Category:


Colony House
Washington Square
Newport, RI 02840 United States


Newport Historical Society