Happy Independence Day weekend! I hope you are celebrating life and liberty with your loved ones. While you are eating BBQ, jumping into lakes, and splashing in the hot sun, I hope you will drink a toast to the men & women who fought to give us our freedoms.
And I can't think of a better drink to do so than one steeped in Revolutionary War history.
What Ethan Allen & his men Drank Before Storming Fort Ticonderoga
There once was a little fort at Ticonderoga, an important fort to the colonists because it was where the British received key reinforcements. So a fellow by the name of Ethan Allen was asked to help invade it. Being kind of a bada**, he was game.
The night before the attack, a little tavern known as Remington's was doing a great job of providing liquid courage to the soldiers. After all, they were about to face a Goliath of sorts. Fort Ticonderoga outdid them in just about every way -- its soldiers were better-trained, its artillery better stocked -- you get the idea.
And what did they drink? A hearty mixture of hard cider and rum. It is now known as a "Stone Fence" or a "Stone Wall".
How did it turn out? Dawn came, and I guess the boys weren't terribly hungover because they headed over to the British garrison and they found everyone to be basically asleep. In other words, they pretty much walked right in past one lone sentry in an anticlimactic takeover.
Although it was a minor battle in the scheme of things, the Battle of Fort Ticonderoga earns the distinction of being the first American victory of the Revolutionary War.
Stone FENCE Cocktail
Now it's your turn to partake. This one is about as easy as it gets, readers, so really there is no excuse not to try it.
Now that you have your cocktail, let's drink a toast to...
A few Hollywood greats who left the glitter of stardom to serve their countries when it was needed most...
James Stewart flew with the 703rd Bombardment Squadron. On at least a few of his missions into Nazi occupied Europe, Stewart requested his B-24 be in the lead position. Among his medals, he received the Distinguished Flying Cross twice for his service in World War II.
I have spoken about Carole Lombard many times before, as she is one of my heroes of Hollywood history. In 1942 she set off on a tour across America to sell war bonds. An immensely popular actress (and the highest paid actress in her day), Lombard was able to raise over $2 million ($34,993,987.92 in 2016) in defense bonds in a single evening. Tragically, she died when the plane taking her, her mother, a press agent, and a retinue of soldiers crashed just outside of Las Vegas on their way home.
After the death of his beloved wife, Carole Lombard, witnesses say he was never the same. Purportedly he carried a death wish, and after requesting a role in the war even though he was above the draft age, he enlisted in the Army Air Force. When Germany caught news that the "King of Hollywood" was fighting in Europe, Hitler's orders were to capture Gable alive. Gable was afraid that the Germans might capture him, and put him in a cage like a gorilla. Worried that he might draw unwanted and dangerous attention to his fellow soldiers, he un-enlisted.