CHAPTER 1
Classic Moment

It took an uncommon amount of rum to begin a war in 1775.

On the night of March 13 that year, a mob of doubtful deputies headed by a Tory sheriff imbibed freely at John Norton's Tavern in Westminster, on the New Hampshire Grants, and a few minutes later shed what Vermonters like to say was the first blood of the Revolution.

Then, Paul Revere of Boston, well primed with Medford distillate, rode leisurely through a sunny afternoon to warn the Messrs. Adams and Hancock of British doings. Two days later, filled with the conventional British issue of grog, redcoats marched on Lexington where, there and then in the Buckman Tavern, Minutemen were downing slugs of punch in preparation for the shot that was to be heard round the world.

And now, early in May, a group of backwoodsmen had gathered in the Catamount Tavern in Bennington, on the Grants, and were engaged in the Green Mountain custom of drinking stonewalls, a somewhat incredible concoction composed of rum diluted with rock-hard cider.

-3-

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