In the early days of the republic, when water wasn’t always safe to drink, even the Puritans subscribed to liberal consumption of alcohol. And George Washington ran a large distillery at his home in Mount Vernon, where he made brandy and whiskey. We explore a new exhibit at the National Archives that traces the ups and downs of alcohol’s place in American society and examines the government’s role in regulating consumption, from enforcing Prohibition to combating drunk driving.


  • Bruce Bustard Senior Curator, National Archives
  • Derek Brown Owner of three bars in D.C.'s Shaw neighborhood: Mockingbird Hill, Eat the Rich and Southern Efficiency; Chief Spirits Advisor for the National Archives Foundation

WATCH: The History Of The Cocktail

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