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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! 

Update:  Bubba just reminded me that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both passed away on the same day, July 4, 1826.

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 serving

Classic Mamie Taylor Cocktail

It should be better known!


  • 2 ounces blended Scotch, such as Dewar's
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 6 ounces spicy ginger ale or ginger beer (try Blenheim Old #3 Hot Ginger Ale - Red Cap)
  • Lime wedge, for garnish


  1. Add several ice cubes to a highball glass.
  2. Pour in scotch, squeeze in lime juice and fill with ginger ale or ginger beer.
  3. Stir with a barspoon and garnish with a lime wedge.
  4. Serve
Created using The Recipes Generator



  1. That sounds like a wonderful cocktail. HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY, Pam.

  2. What an interesting story on the cocktail!
    Happy 4th of July!

    1. Thanks, Joyce! Glad you liked it!

  3. This post is a festive one meant to celebrate America's birthday and flag. A bit of history, a bit of gossip, and a cocktail recipe of scotch, lime juice, ginger ale, ice cubes.

    1. It's a great fun holiday, Duta! From history to fireworks and food and drink! Cheers!

  4. Pam, My better half is a big fan of John Adams as well and she's read about him extensively. I must admit that I've never heard of a Mexican Mule. The Mamie Taylor sounds good... My wife recently had a Mississippi Mule...made with Southern Comfort. I'll have to look for Blenheim Old #3 Ginger Ale... I love Vernor's myself for just drinking on a hot day. Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

    1. Dave, that's good about with your wife a fan of John Adams also. The book of his letters to Abigail is interesting. I love Vernor's ginger ale also, but it's not the easiest thing to find. Happy 4th!

  5. Happy 4th to you, Pam.... I heard a poll today asking if Americans today think that the Fathers of our Country would be proud of our country today... 75% of those polled said NO, that they would not be proud of what is happening here now.. I SO AGREE.

    George and I watched a wonderful documentary entitled "John Adams" --I think it was originally an HBO work but we saw it on Netflix (or maybe Amazon).... EXCELLENT....

    Enjoy your holiday!!!! We are meeting friends for dinner in the mountains.


    1. Hi Betsy! I saw that poll, but I think the Founding Fathers would be happy to know that the Constitution is still intact and the country is still going strong after more than 200 years.

      You dinner in the mountains sounds wonderful!

      Have a Happy 4th!

  6. Dear Pam, Happy 4th!! I hope your weekend is filled with fun and food.
    I enjoyed reading about Amy Taylor and the 4th of July history. Thank you.
    xoxo Catherine

    1. Thanks, Catherine! Here's wishing you a great 4th! Hugs

  7. I have never heard of Mamie before, but I do like the sound of her namesake cocktail.

  8. Happy 4 July to you, we only celebrate here on the 14th; Bastille day which commemorates the Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789, a turning point of the French Revolution. There will be lots of fireworks all over the country. I hope everyone remembers to keep their animals inside!!!
    Take care Diane

    1. Thanks, Diane! Yes, Bastille day is an important day also. The fireworks started around here Friday night and will continue big time through the 4th. And I'm sure it's as upsetting to other animals as it is to our cat. But it's a great festive time! Take care

  9. Love the story behind this drink, never heard it before. My son's birthday is October 30th as well, great post! Happy 4th to you!!!

    1. Thanks, Cheri! Great things happened on October 30th! Take care

  10. I bet she didn't have THAT cocktail glass. : )
    Sounds like an interesting drink.

    Enjoy your holiday!!!

    M : )

    1. Ha! Ha! Good one, Melinda! ☺ I'm sure she didn't, but she would've surely enjoyed the drink much more if she had drank it out of that glass! Happy 4th!

  11. And don't forget that both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson passed away on July 4th, 1826.

  12. Ah, thanks, Bubba! You have told me that before, and I will add it now. Interesting tidbit! Have a Happy 4th!!!

  13. The history of the 'Mamie' Taylor cocktail is interesting, Pam. Happy July 4th to you & your family!

    1. Thanks, Judy! Have a great 4th!

  14. Happy 4th of July and this post is so informative! And I love scotch so I think this is my favorite type of 'mule' yet :-D

    1. Thanks, Evelyne! Glad you like it!

  15. You are such a gifted writer Pam - I LOVE your stories :) The story of America is one of my favorites, so inspiring, filled with promise and hope, and bravery from men like John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. We need more brilliant minded people in our lives! Love the story of this cocktail too - hope you had a terrific July 4th!

    1. Thanks, Tricia! Yes, we owe so much to those men back then. Our 4th was great, a perfect summer day and hope yours was good also! Take care

  16. What a fun post! And love the drink -- anything made with ginger beer is OK with me. :-)

    1. Thanks, John! I like ginger beer too! Take care

  17. This looks delicious and refreshing for the humid weather we are having. What an informative and fun post! Hope you had a happy 4th. Aloha, Deb

    1. Thanks, Deb! Yes, it's a refreshing one, and perfect for our humid weather here now, I'd much rather be back in Hawaii though and enjoying it there! Have a wonderful day! Take care

  18. Replies
    1. Thanks, Gloria! Have a great weekend!

  19. Great history lesson. I had not seen the Adams' quote regarding the great "illuminations." How prophetic. I'm posting a Moscow Mule soon for Cook the Books. I had never heard of the Mamie Taylor. Great post, Pam. (And great Ginger Ale tip!)

    1. Thanks, Debra! Glad you like it! I'm looking forward to your Moscow Mule. Take care


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