First, huge kudos to The National Museum of Civil War Medicine for creating such a fantastic event! Second, thank you to the museum for inviting me along for the fun.
After checking in and receiving our cigars, my date and I bee-lined for the first table slingin’ drinks. Catoctin Creek Distillery was mixing up a Civil War era cocktail called a “Horse’s Neck.” The name doesn’t give much away, but this libation was crafted with a slice of lemon rind (that’d been twisted to release the oils), a dash of bitters, ginger beer and some of their Roundstone Rye. Umm, this drink will be a permanent fixture in my Summer cocktail line-up. The ginger beer ensures there was no over the top sweetness and I happily sipped several of these throughout the evening. (It’s the one on the left.)
The cocktail on the right is a little iced tea and lemonade mixed with some of the 7-year aged bourbon from the other distillery present at the evening’s festivities, Smooth Ambler Spirits.
After a few drinks and a pass through the hor d’oeurves line it was time to hear a little bit about the stars of the event. After Catoctin Creek and Smooth Ambler each gave a presentation about their products and some of the history behind what we were drinking, The National Museum of Civil War Medicine’s Executive Director, George Wunderlich, spoke a few minutes about the cigars. One of the three was just one of his favorites, but the other two were historically accurate cigars, meaning they were exactly like what a soldier (or more likely an officer) would have smoked 150 years ago. George also mentioned that the museum has recently gotten it’s tobacco license, so now these cigars will be available in the Museum shop. Very cool and like the Civil War Beer Series with Brewer’s Alley is another really great way to bring history to life for people who may not otherwise know how to enjoy it.
Then we were encouraged to bring our drinks on a little stroll through the property that was so gracious to donate it’s use for the evening. Kemp Farm out in Rohrersville, MD has a Civil War era barn on the property and we were invited to check it out.
Barns like this one were often used as medical stations during the civil war. It was seriously fascinating to hear the guys from the museum and fellow enthusiasts discuss how the barn was probably set up, the advances in field medicine that were made during the time and just thinking about the men who’d stood (or laid) in our exact position. More than enough to give you goosebumps.
I’m guessing this event has piqued your interest. You should know the Museum plans on making this an annual thing and also has a few events specifically for museum members in the works. (Full disclosure: I am a member, no I don’t get anything when you become one. I just really believe in supporting this local attraction.) If you’d like any more information about the Civil War Medicine Museum, becoming a member, or any of their other programs, visit them at www.civilwarmed.org/.
P.S. Don’t forget to Vote for Clara.