George Washington Drank Here

Cocktail - Geo Washington KirA visit to Mount Vernon in Virginia, one-time home to George Washington, brings you into the dining rooms where he entertained and the fields and gardens where he grew his food. The only foreign country he ever visited in his lifetime was Barbados, but he frequently dined with sophisticated, well-traveled guests. Only once in the last 20 years of his life did he and his wife, Martha, dine alone.

The Mount Vernon Cookbook, compiled by the Founders, Washington Committee for Historic Mount Vernon (Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, 1984), doesn’t transcribe original recipes, but it does rely on ingredients available to 18th century cooks. This Kir cocktail is a traditional French recipe that may have been served in Washington’s time. It would have been offered at what the book describes as a “genteel, well-appointed table” at which Martha Washington served “platters garnished with vegetables or flowers…offering a variety of foods from which the guests chose according to preference.” For modern diners, the burgundy-hued, slightly sweet cocktail refreshes on a warm summer night.

Mount Vernon’s Kir (1700s)
Makes 1 drink
Generous twist of lemon
Splash Crème de Cassis liqueur [I used 1 ounce]
3-4 ounces white Bordeaux wine
3 ice cubes

In a large wine glass, place the lemon, Crème de Cassis, white wine, and ice cubes. Stir well and serve.


About heritagerecipebox

I am named after my great-grandmother, who only prepared two dishes, according to anyone who remembers. Somehow I ended up with a cooking gene that I brought with me from Richmond, Virginia to my current home in Boston, Massachusetts. I have worked as a journalist and published three cookbooks plus a memoir and a novel. This blog gives me a chance to share family recipes and other American recipes with a past.
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1 Response to George Washington Drank Here

  1. greg says:

    That looks so refreshing!


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