Wandering Wikipedia | Drinking Culture

Wandering Wikipedia is a reoccurring column of interesting and odd things found through travels within the time wasting juggernaut, Wikipedia.

What is more gentlemanly than the art of drinking. Wikipedia brilliantly classifies this as “Drinking Culture,” which I could not have said better myself. Below are six Wikipedia explained alcohol related things.


Toasts of the Royal Navy


Sconcing is a tradition at University of Oxford of demanding that a person drink a tankard of ale or some other alcoholic beverage as a penalty for some breach of accepted etiquette. Originally the penalty would have been a simple monetary fine imposed for a more serious breach of discipline, and the word is known to have been used in this sense as early as 1617.


Highball: New York barman Patrick Duffy claimed to have invented the highball in 1895, and that the term ‘highball’ comes from the 19th century railroad practice of raising a ball on a pole to urge a passing train driver to speed up. Duffy used this term to describe his method of quickly mixing a drink by simply adding the ingredients to a tall glass over ice. To enable this speedy process, Duffy used one spirit, one mixer (ginger ale or soda) and either a simple garnish (such as a twist of lemon) or none at all.


Pimm’s Cup is a popular cocktail in southern England. It is based on Pimm’s No.1, a gin-based beverage flavored with fruits and spices invented in 1823 as a health drink.

Original recipe for the Pimm’s Cup cocktail. Over ice, pour:

* 1 part Pimm’s No.1

* 2 to 3 parts lemonade.

* Infuse with borage leaves, mint leaves, and slices of lemon, orange, strawberry, and apple.


Irish goodbye is a slang term with its origins in the Irish-American neighborhoods of New York City and Boston. The term refers to the practice of inconspicuously leaving a place where one has gathered with friends (usually for quite some time) [Ed. note – the bar.] without ever formally announcing that one is leaving. Note that an Irish goodbye requires a conscious decision by the person to leave without bidding adieu.


Old Fashioned: Some claim the first use of the specific name “Old Fashioned” was for a Bourbon whiskey cocktail in the 1880s, at the Pendennis Club, a gentlemen’s club in Louisville, Kentucky. The recipe is said to have been invented by a bartender at that club, and popularized by a club member and bourbon distiller, Colonel James E. Pepper, who brought it to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel bar in New York City. Others point out that the term was already in use before the Pendennis Club was founded.

Comments on “Wandering Wikipedia | Drinking Culture

    John on October 8, 2008 1:10 PM:

    Since you seem to be a connoisseur of fine rum drinks and the British Royal Navy…have you come across Pusser’s rum yet? (You probably have, who am I kidding)

    It’s the Royal Navy’s original recipe that was rationed to sailors for more than 300 years. Damn good rum and thankfully recently reincarnated by an expat living down in the BVI

    Lauren on October 8, 2008 3:27 PM:

    I remember seeing these on a Pusser’s Rum mug once when I was in the Bahamas. Very quaint but still fun.

    giuseppe on October 9, 2008 1:25 AM:

    Old Fashioned’s, like Manhattan’s, are best made with rye whiskey.

    jason. on October 9, 2008 9:17 AM:

    My friend used to slip out of parties and bars in college without saying goodbye and would always give the “Irish Goodbye” excuse the next day. I always thought it was something he made up…

    Michael Williams on October 9, 2008 7:18 PM:

    Giuseppe — I agree with you about the Rye. Most Fridays you can find me at B Flat drinking Rye Manhattans.


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