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Drink & Learn Podcast

History Podcasts

Join drinks historian Elizabeth Pearce and bartender extraordinaire Abigail Gullo as they discuss booze history and culture with a little drinking advice thrown in for good measure. Best way to learn, ever.

Join drinks historian Elizabeth Pearce and bartender extraordinaire Abigail Gullo as they discuss booze history and culture with a little drinking advice thrown in for good measure. Best way to learn, ever.


United States


Join drinks historian Elizabeth Pearce and bartender extraordinaire Abigail Gullo as they discuss booze history and culture with a little drinking advice thrown in for good measure. Best way to learn, ever.






Blender Drinks

Elizabeth and Abigail get you ready for summer. Learn about the history of the blender and get some advice on making your best frozen drinks including daiquiris of all kinds, ice cream based concoctions, and frosé ! Here are some links/recipes referenced in the episode: Fix the Pumps by Darcy O'Neil (about the history of soda fountains) https://www.amazon.com/Fix-Pumps-Darcy-S-ONeil/dp/0981175910 Brix Refractometer (measuring sugar...


Robert Simonson and The Old Fashioned

Author Robert Simonson joins Elizabeth to discuss his book The Old Fashioned, which traces the origins and evolution of this classic cocktail. Follow him on Instagram is @robertosimonson If you feel like treating yourself, check out The Simonson Old Fashioned Kit from Cocktail Kingdom. https://www.cocktailkingdom.com/simonson-old-fashioned-kit


Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall and Hungover: The Morning After and One Man's Quest for the Cure

Elizabeth speaks with Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall, the author of Hungover: The Morning After and One Man's Quest for the Cure about hangovers, of course, but also the journey he took in researching and writing the book. They discuss the merits of waking up hungover in New Orleans and what, if any, are the benefits of hangovers. Elizabeth wonders why no one has invented a cure yet and if it's because we all feel we deserve them.


Spring Cleaning Your Bar and Listener Questions

Elizabeth and Abigail offer tips to clear out the "clutter" from your home bar and also answer some listener questions. Abigail also introduces us to the idea of "infinity bottles" which are not part of the Harry Potter Wizarding World, no matter how much you think they should be. References include: Seedlip drinks Jacques Pepin's recipe for Fromage Fort Peg Bracken's I Hate to Cook Cookbook


Hannah Griggs and Mapping Prohibition Raids

Hannah Griggs joins Elizabeth to talk about her website, Intemperance.org where she mapped 1,000 Prohibition raids that occurred in New Orleans throughout The Great Mistake. She discusses her findings and takes listeners on a virtual tour of drinking life in New Orleans back then, one data point at a time. Other references include: Tanya Marie Sanchez' work on women bootleggers in New Orleans. Lisa Lindquist Dorr's book A Thousand Thirsty Beaches Langston Hughes' autobiography, The Big...


Medicinal Drinking

Elizabeth and Abigail address the ways drinking has been impacted by the Corona virus. Elizabeth talks about how whiskey was used in treating the influenza epidemic of 1918 and she and Abigail explore ways to drink mindfully and well while the world is staying at home. Even if the American Medical Association doesn't count alcohol as medicinal anymore, it can still be good for the soul. Mentioned in the episode is the Glencairn whisk(e)y glass. If you wish to join the Drink & Learn Book...


St Patrick's Day and Irish Whisky

Elizabeth and Abigail trace the evolution of St Patrick's Day celebrations and offer some whisky drinking advice for the day. Much of the information on the day comes from The Wearing of the Green: A History of St. Patrick's Day by Michael Cronin and Daryl Adair. to listen to the history of Irish Whisky, visit A Story of Irish Whisky podcast. Abigail recommends making a punch using Irish Whisky featured on her blog. The recipe is below: Irish Channel Punch Satsuma is a local Louisiana...


Carnival Drinking

Elizabeth and Abigail discuss what makes drinking during Carnival so particular to that festive time. They also offer advice if you want to throw your own Carnival party, no matter where you live. Punch Recipe discussed in the episode is below. Make sure to alter for the number of servings you need. Fountain Punch from The Hangover Handbook: 101 Cures for Humanity’s Oldest Malady by Nic van Oudtshoom 1150 litres/254 gallons of brandy 1135 litres/249 gallons Malaga wine 90 litres/19.8...


Love Potions

In honor of the upcoming Valentine holiday, Elizabeth and Abigail explore the bizarre (and dubious) history of aphrodisiac drinks. While doing so, they end up creating a pretty good tasting concoction but make no promises of its efficacy.


History of the World in Six Glasses

Author Tom Standage joins Elizabeth to discuss his book A History of the World in Six Glasses. From the beer that fueled early agriculture to world dominating Coca Cola, they cover several thousand years of human drinking history. Other books referenced include: For God, Country and Coca-Cola by Mark Pendergrast The Victorian Internet by Tom Standage Writing on the Wall: Social Media -The First 2,000 Years by Tom Standage


Dry (and Damp) January

Elizabeth and Abigail discuss the merits and drawbacks of giving up drinking for the month of January and also explore some alternatives. Abigail offers suggestions of tasty non alcoholic and low proof options. Low proof cocktails include the Adonis, the Bamboo, an upside down Manhattan and the Americano. Non alcoholic sips are: Sanbitter, Blutul, Ritual Gin, Seedlip


Holiday Gift Roundup

Elizabeth and Abigail offer some favorite picks for anyone on your holiday gift list (including yourself!) They end with talking about a beloved gift they have received and sharing a holiday drink recipe for the season. . Mentions are listed below: Books: A History of the World in Six Glasses by Tom Standage Imbibe and Punch by David Wondrich The Bar Book by Jeffrey Morgenthaler How to Mix Drinks or the Bon Vivant's Companion by Jerry Thomas The Savoy Cocktail Book by Harry...


Jane Levi and 18th Century Fortified Wines

Elizabeth is joined by food historian Jane Levi to chat about 18th century fortified wine drinking. You'll hear about the excesses of the Georgian Era and find out what George Washington's favorite tipple was. Midway through Elizabeth references a TV show she couldn't remember the name of. It's Lords and Ladles and it's on Amazon.


The Bitter Truth: Bitters and Amaro

Elizabeth and Abigail explain what exactly bitters and amaros are and talk a bit about their history. They explore the many roles they can fill in a glass, whether as a spirit enhancer or as the star of the show. In case your Italian is a little shaky, here are the names of some of the amaros mentioned: Averna, Monte Negro, Don Figlio, Cynar.


Clairin: The Spirit of Haiti

Elizabeth is joined by Kate Perry, for a deep dive into Clairin, the sugar cane spirit of Haiti. Only recently available in the United States, Clairin is not just another rum. We learn how and why it is different from other sugar cane based spirits and how that taste represents the story of Haiti.


Vodka: From Russia with Love

Elizabeth and Abigail take you back to the origins of vodka, then break down its current incarnations, flavors and the marketing that drives them. Abigail suggests trying a Vesper to channel your inner James Bond.


Fortified Wines

Elizabeth and Abigail explain what fortified wines are, trace their history and discuss a few of their favorites. Abigail shares her recipe for the Adonis Cocktail, and they both recommend the book The Art of the Shim by Dinah Sanders for lots of inspiration of how to use many of the wines they talk about.


Agave Spirits

Elizabeth and Abigail take you through the many spirits made with agave (tequila, mezcal, raicilla, etc) and explain their differences in flavor and styles. Abigail paints a vivid picture of production based on her visits to two different distilleries in Oaxaca and Guadalajara. We pepper the discussion with advice about what to to look for when buying these beautiful spirits and end with some recipes.


Jeff Berry and the story of Tiki

Tiki authority and author Jeff Berry takes Elizabeth on a rich and complex journey, trading the rise and fall (and rise) of tiki. From the sugarcane fields of the Caribbean to glamorous 1940s Hollywood, we hear how Donn the Beachcomber and Trader Vic created a new way of drinking for Americans and how those drinks made their way across the globe.



Elizabeth and Abigail trace the origins of gin and how its flavors have changed over time. Its expansion through colonialism, its popularity during Prohibition and its new resurgence are also explored.