Robert Laurie, Robert Dighton, and John Smith, “COURT of EQUITY, OR A CONVIVAL CITY MEETING.” London, 1778. John Carter Brown Library.

Intoxicated Empire: Alcohol, Consumption & Slavery in the 18th-c. Atlantic World

During the 1600s and 1700s, Caribbean molasses and rum went from lowly commodities fit only for unfree labor and local consumption to high-value, globally traded goods. This talk charts their transformation in relation to other alcoholic beverages—particularly wine, gin, and whiskey—and the drinkers who enjoyed them throughout the Americas and Europe.

Bertie Mandelblatt researches the rum trade as well as food provision and consumption in the French West Indies, c. 1620 to 1790, at the John Carter Brown Library in Providence, R.I. She is finishing a book, Feeding Slavery: Empire and Food in the French Atlantic.

“Tasting at Tattersall,” an event Monday, March 4 where you can sample re-created drinks and dishes from 18th-century recipes is now SOLD OUT but you can still learn about recipes, exhibitions and read an interactive publication, all part of the project, “Alcohol’s Empire.”

This project is part of “Living Rooms,” an initiative to present Mia’s historic interiors and decorative arts collections in new ways. Generous support provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and donors at the 2014 Mia Gala.

Additional support provided by the Chipstone Foundation.

$10; $5 My Mia members, free for members of the Decorative Arts, Textiles & Sculpture Affinity Group. Register online or call 612.870.6323.