When the British imposed the Stamp Act of 1765, John Hancock helped lead the opposition in urging a boycott of British-made goods. Far from an act of patriotism, Hancock, a smuggler of tea, rum, and wine, used these boycotts earn obscene profits. But the boycotts did impact the Crown and eventually lead to the repeal of the Sugar Act.

Pushed to the wall, the Crown then sent troops to Boston to enforce tax collection but the British army was no happier to be in Boston than the Bostonians were to have them. Unable to provide proper housing to the army, colonist were ordered to quarter troops in their homes. Small riots were frequent and one
such riot in front of the Customs House resulted in gunfire — The Boston Massacre. Tensions were high.

Bostonians ridiculed the army calling them “lobsters,” “Bloody Backs.” and worse. The army, of course also had names for the Bostonians. “Pompkinshire” is a derisive term used by the Redcoats for Boston. Bostonians were frequently referred to as
Pompkin” in reference to the number of squash and pumpkins raised and eaten by the inhabitants of Massachusetts.

Of course the rum smuggling had other impacts. Due to their lust for drink, early Americans came up with a variety of cocktails from their slim culinary arsenal of rum, cider, ale, cream, sugar, molasses, spices and citrus. One such cocktail is “Flip” a blend of beer, rum, and pumpkin.

This pumpkin ale is a Boston ale with hints of rum to remind all the “Pumkin Headed” insurrectionist, to lift a glass in honor of the original mob boss, John Hancock, whose illegal business caused the Crown to declare war on Boston and allowed him could make a few pounds smuggling rum.

Download the recipe here.


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Published by Michael Carver

My goal is to bring history alive through interactive portrayal of ordinary American life in the late 18th Century (1750—1799) My persona are: Journeyman Brewer; Cordwainer (leather tradesman but not cobbler), Statesman and Orator; Chandler (candle and soap maker); Gentleman Scientist; and, Soldier in either the British Regular Army, the Centennial Army, or one of the various Militia. Let me help you experience history 1st hand!

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