George Washington And The Huge $15,000 Bar Tab

Samuel Reason | August 12th, 2018

If you think some of the modern day politicians commit indiscretions and fraudulent expense claims, well you may be surprised to hear some of the historical heroes were the same. In fact, it was well known that George Washington loved his whiskey.

In the late 18th century, Washington was actually operating one of the most successful whiskey distilleries;’s in the country pumping out 11,000 gallons of whiskey a year. To be fair he did start the distillery with a Scotsman to be a successful business, not a way to just get free-flowing hooch! But there are many stories that show Washington definitely loved his drink, especially whiskey.

On Friday, September 14, 1787, it was time for George Washington’s farewell dinner and he was not going to go out without a bang. Partying all night with the First Troop of Philadelphia City Cavalry, they had a huge dinner and went long into the night, racking up what would be by today’s standards a $15,000 bar tab. And no, it was not just expensive food, most of it was the alcohol.

During the evening they were able to consume 60 bottles of claret, 54 bottles of Madeira, 8 bottles of cider, 8 bottles of whiskey, 22 bottles of porter and 7 large bowls of punch! And we are not talking about the Hawaiian kind. And it was reported there were only about 55 people at this gathering.

Many might assume Washington would have sat back and relaxed, sipping his drink with care while his close friends went into a revolutionary drunk state, but I think we can agree this was probably not the case. With the future of creating a great nation and the signing of the Constitution only a few days away, Washington probably had to really let off some steam.

And if you thought the great man himself was picking up the bill, well you would have been mistaken it should have been Edward Moynston a member of the 3rd company, but when the tab appeared, well Moynston had made himself scarce! Luckily a gentleman of Samuel Miles stepped in and paid the bill, one of the members of the Council of Censors, responsible for making sure there were no violations of power.

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