The Fourth, John Adams and a Mamie Taylor Cocktail, the Original Moscow Mule (?)

The Fourth, John Adams and a Mamie Taylor Cocktail, the Original Moscow Mule (?)

The Fourth of July, John Adams...

In a letter to his

wife Abigail, John Adams wrote:  "The Second Day of July 1776, will

be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America."

Adam's prediction

came as the result of Richard Henry Lee's motion for independence being

approved by the Congress on July 2, 1776.  It was Lee's motion that

officially separated the thirteen America colonies from Great Britain.

John Adams, 2nd President of the U. S.  1797 to 1801

It turned out

Adams was 2 days off from his prediction.  On July 4, the day after

writing Abigail, Adams and his colleagues approved the Declaration of

Independence, a document that eloquently proclaimed the reasons why the

colonies had separated from the British Empire.

An elated and

confident Adams declared in his letter to Abigail:

"I am apt to

believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great

anniversary festival.  It ought to be commemorated as the day of

deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty; it ought to be

solemnized with pomp and parade with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires

and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other, from this time

forward forever more."

Even though John

Adams spoke these words over 200 years ago, it describes exactly our Fourth of

July celebrations to this day!


By the way, our older son, Bill, Jr. (Bubba here on my blog)

has great respect for John Adams, has read a plethora of books about, or by

him, and has visited his home in Quincy, MA. 

Maybe both being born on October 30 has something to do with it!

With this, our great country,

pomp and parade and fireworks, here's a cooler for the 4th of July...

Word is, that circa 1899, coolers ~ refreshing fizzy drinks made with ice, a spirit and soda water ~ became popular throughout the country. 

Ginger ale, lime and a spirit, is known by a plethora of names:   If the spirit is rum, it’s a Dark and Stormy.  A shot of tequila?  Call it a Mexican Mule ~ if it’s made with vodka, it’s a Moscow Mule.

And then there’s the Mamie Taylor, made with Scotch, the progenitor of the Moscow Mule!

Mayme Taylor was an actress; the soprano prima donna of an opera company playing at Ontario Beach, near Rochester, New York, in 1899.  

She and members of the company were sailing on Lake Ontario on a hot breezy summer day, when they became rather heated.

Back at the resort, Miss Taylor was asked what cooling drink she’d like to quench her thirst. The barman couldn’t fill her first order, and swapped instead a gingery, smoky, citrusy concoction of Scotch, lime and ginger ale for her to sip on.  She was sold, she loved it:  the easier to spell, 'Mamie' Taylor cocktail was born!  The drink was the insanely popular cocktail of its day, before fading away in the early 1900’s.

Prima donna, Mayme Taylor

However, apparently bartenders became sick and tired of mixing Mamie Taylor’s so they hiked up the price of the cocktail to discourage customers from ordering it.  Or maybe it faded away because of Prohibition (1920-1933), and never recovered…

Today, not many remember this cocktail, and even more so, Miss Taylor, yet this drink has led to many variations that we do recall.

In the early 1940’s, after Prohibition, the Moscow Mule became the popular drink, and remains popular to this day.

There’s not enough flavor in a Moscow Mule for me ~ however, by replacing the vodka with scotch, and mixing a Mamie Taylor cocktail, it's transformed into a great little mixed drink to sip on!

The drink has quite a unique flavor combination with the smokiness of the scotch, the spiciness of the ginger, brought together with the unifying lime juice.

For a spicy smackdown on your tongue, heat it up by using Blenheim Old #3 Hot Ginger Ale - Red Cap!  If it's a touch too much for your taste, try a tamer version of Blenheim's ginger ale.

Spicy hot Blenheim Old #3 Hot Ginger Ale - Red Cap

The Mamie Taylor cocktail is effervescent and cool ~ it's a unique summer-time refresher on a hot summer day!

As for Mayme, by 1906, the actress was reduced to performing in San Francisco matinees of “a playful satire on New York fads and fancies.” 

The Mamie Taylor was thought of as a fancy drink back in its heyday.  It's easy to understand why, as Ted Haigh reiterates:  "The scotch soothes the soul, while the ginger excites the heart, and the lime keeps it all in perspective."  

It should be better known!


Yield: 1 servingAuthor: PamPrint Recipe

Classic Mamie Taylor Cocktail


  • 2 ounces blended Scotch, such as Dewar's
  • 6 ounces spicy ginger ale or ginger beer (try Blenheim Old #3 Hot Ginger Ale - Red Cap)
Read the whole recipe on Pam's Midwest Kitchen Korner