17 November 2008

Backpay Is Owed to the House of Bourbon

This from a pious devotional I've been reading, which explains the royal origins of that eponymously-named drink:
The French government of Louis XVI, still smarting from the British conquest of Canada and India, was eager to help the American colonists rebel against George III. Attempting to avenge his grandfather's defeat, good King Louis sent his best generals (including Lafayette), much of his fleet, and the better part of his shrinking treasury to the aid of General Washington.

With all due credit to Washington's prudence and statesmanship, the French pretty much won the war for us--as most Americans at the time admitted. In gratitude, the Congress hung a portrait of King Louis in the Capitol, and legislatures across the 13 states gave French names to regions and cities--including Bourbon County, which constituted much of Kentucky, as Charles K. Cowder noted in The Bourbon County Reader (July 1, 1996). Even when the vast county was broken up, the whiskey from the region kept the name.
Sadly, the rise of bourbon contributed to the fall of the Bourbons. Louis XVI's aid to American rebels caused the royal bankruptcy which finally broke the monarchy, and brought to power the craziest atheist intellectuals in France--where they have governed ever since. Therefore, every Bastille Day (July 14), we raise a glass of bourbon in honor of good King Louis XVI, who wrecked his own country to help found ours.