Episode 16: A Very Punchy Inauguration Special

Andrew Jackson & the Mob of 1829

The Inauguration Reception of 1829, White House Collections

The Inauguration Reception of 1829, White House Collections


Feeling punchy this inauguration season?

Take a note from Andrew Jackson & join the wildest party the White House has ever seen! In our first episode of 2017, we’re heading to 1829 when 10,000 people crashed Jackson’s Inauguration Reception for a bit of cake and barrels of free punch. But was this party as wild as rumors have suggested? Did Jackson plan the whole thing? And where did all those punch barrels come from? We’ll learn the history of the popular tipple & why it’s been the drink of American politicians for over two hundred years. We’ll even throw in some great punch recipes straight from the history books for you to make at home. All this and more on a very punchy inauguration special of The Feast.

Written & Produced by Laura Carlson

Technical Direction by Mike Portt


Get Punchy!

Interested in making some of your own tipple? Below are a number of recipes for "the flowing bowl". We've included some recipes for Orange Punch & Whiskey Punch, a variation of which may have been the very drink served to the White House guests in 1829. Why not try some yourself this inauguration season?

Famous early bartender & writer, Jerry Thomas, responsible for the early mixology bible The Bartender's Guide, How to Mix Drinks (1862) offers a number of recipes for punch, including some orange-based and whiskey-heavy variations (courtesy of classicmixology.com):

Orange Punch

Irish Whiskey Punch

Even some famous Americans have their own punch recipe! Daniel Webster, secretary of state in the 1840s and 50s, was so known for his love of punch, his own "preferred" recipe for the stuff survives in later 19th century bartending guides. Webster's recipe uses the trick of adding tea to the mixture for added flavor. Although I'm not sure how much tea you taste after adding the *other* ingredients (champagne, red wine, port, cognac, rum and brandy!).

Daniel Webster's Punch Recipe

The Huffington Post's Guide to Andrew Jackson's Inaugural Punch

If you're interested in reading more about the history of punch (& who isn't?), try these other articles on the history of the "flowing bowl": 

How Well Do You Know the Flowing Bowl? (www.punchdrink.com)

With Glasses Raised: All About Punch (Saveur)

But if you want the authoritative history of the beverage (plus recipes), there's no better guide than David Wondrich's Punch: The Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl

More About Jackson & his Mob

Was the 1829 reception really as crazy as it seemed? American historians, David S. Heidler & Jeanne T. Heidler, cry foul. In their article, "Not a Ragged Mob; The Inauguration of 1829", they provide new evidence that folks have been exaggerating this 1829 event. Check their article out for a great new interpretation of these events. 

There are tons of books out there about the seventh US president, but a good place to start, if you have about 30 hours to spare, is with Robert V. Remini's Andrew Jackson: A Course of American Freedom, Empire & Democracy- a comprehensive look at Jackson's life and administration in three volumes. Thankfully, Remini's also written a shorter account, called simply Andrew Jackson


Episode Soundtrack

Jahzzar, "Bodies" Bodies by Jahzzar is licensed under a Attribution-ShareAlike License.

Original Dixieland Jazz Band, "Tiger Rag-One Step" Tiger Rag-One Step by Original Dixieland Jazz Band is licensed under a Public Domain / Sound Recording Common Law Protection License

Grossman, Ewell, Grainger, "Bozza, Duettino for Two Bassoons" Bozza, Duettino for Two Bassoons by Grossman, Ewell, Grainger is licensed under a Attribution-ShareAlike License.