Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Wedding in Springtime by Amanda Forester (Guest Post/Giveaway)

Please give a warm welcome to historical romance author, Amanda Forester!

Drinking My Way Through the Regency
by Amanda Forester

Hello and thank you for inviting me today!  Considering the very clever name of this blog (gosh, I wish I had thought of it!) I present to you a drinking guide to the Regency- you know for the next time you all time travel back there (I'm sure it happens all the time).

Why a drinking guide you ask?  Well, up until relatively recently water was not particularly safe to drink, as the cholera epidemics would attest.  Alcohol of various forms had the benefit of being fermented which killed harmful bacteria, making it one of the safest things to drink.  Alcohol content, at least in some beverages, may have been less than now, just enough to kill the bacteria that was trying to kill you.  Weak beer, called "small beer" may have only had an alcohol content of 0.8% and was drank even at breakfast, including by children.

Considering the health concerns it is no surprise to learn that the English in the Regency were drinkers.  Why they drank is clear.  What they drank was a matter of their social standing.  In fact, what you drank said a lot about your place in society.

Ale, beer, and cider:  Drank by lower classes at all meals and was consumed instead of unsafe water.

Gin, brandy, or rum:  Drank by the lower middle class or urban poor.  To drink such would definitely associate yourself with the lower classes.

Wine, champagne, sparkling wine:  Drank almost exclusively by the upper class and those of rising middle class who could afford such luxuries.  Different drinks would be offered at each course of a large meal: sherry with the soup and the fish, claret with the roast, sparkling wine before the confections, etc. Wine was often made by ladies in the homes of the gentry.  Jane Austen herself mentions wine making as one of her activities.

Sherry and port: These fortified wines were often sipped after a meal and were drank mostly by men, often after their meal.

Madeira  Orgeat and Ratafia:  These drinks were sugary and were often served around dessert.  These drinks were deemed acceptable for ladies to consume.  The great patronesses at Almaks (renowned society club) were rumored to only serve Orgeat an Ratafia.

Punch:  A combination of alcohols which could be served hot or cold.   Sometimes the gentleman host at the gathering would ask for the ingredients brought in so he could mix together his own particular brand of punch.  

My characters in A WEDDING IN SPRINGTIME, being of the Regency time period, do drink as a matter of course.  When the hero, Grant, walks into the his social club with his two best friends, the first thing they do is order their drinks.  Grant's friends order burgundy, but Grant, always the original, drinks his preferred whiskey.  Unfortunately, it is also this whiskey that puts him in danger for acting most inappropriately with a certain Miss Eugenia Talbot.

Here's the blurb for A WEDDING IN SPRINGTIME :

Five minutes into Miss Eugenia Talbot's presentation at court, notorious rogue Mr. William Grant makes her laugh before the queen, ruining her debut. To hush up the scandal, Genie needs to make a brilliant marriage, and fast.  Genie's aunt hires a matchmaker to find a suitor—anyone except the infamous William Grant—but amiable Genie shows a disturbing tendency to follow her heart.  When a traitor creeps closer, threatening to ruin more than just her reputation, Genie and Grant are drawn into a dangerous world of deceit and intrigue, where losing their hearts could mean their ultimate undoing.
Goodreads - Amazon PB - Kindle - B&N - TBD

I hope you have as much fun reading A WEDDING IN SPRINGTIME as I had writing it! I love to hear from readers so come visit me at my website, facebook, or twitter.

Sourcebooks is giving away one copy of A WEDDING IN SPRINGTIME to one reader today (US/CA Only Please). To enter, please leave a question or comment for Amanda on this post and then fill out the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Great info regarding drinks. :) I never knew that. :) Sounds like a great book! :)

  2. happy not to be a genteel lady stuck only drinking the sweet stuff ;) congrats on the latest release

  3. This book looks really good. Thank you for the information about what they drank back then.

  4. Very interesting post. I learned some things.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  5. Great post, Interesting information that I didn't know. I can't wait to read this book. Thanks for the chance

  6. love stories with matchmakers! looking forward to reading. :)
    jukyjoauka at aol dot com

  7. Funny how sherry was mostly an after dinner drink for the men and now, we associate it with little old ladies! Fun post, and the book sounds great.

  8. Cool post :). The things we learn from blogs-interesting stuff. Thanks.
    lorih824 at yahoo dot com

  9. Thanks for the fun post and congrats Amanda on the new release! Thanks for sharing!

  10. I would have never lasted back then...I drink water all the time, lol. I really enjoyed reading about all the different drinks in history though. I know that a lot of Highland stories have a lot of ale drinking in addition to Scotch Whisky :)

  11. I enjoyed this informative post. So many exciting things learned from the Authors. Thanks for the chance to win.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  12. Sounds like an amazing romance novel, and I just love the cover. I'd enjoy reading it. Thanks for having the giveaway.


  13. Interesting information about the drinking habits of the Regency era.

  14. Wine was offered for upper middle class, how much did the wine cost equivalent to today's cost?

  15. Amazing that it would have been a scandal to laugh before the Queen - any other odd rules?
    sallans d at yahoo dot com

  16. Love the blurb about the book, I can't wait to read that! Enjoyed reading about the drinks, never really thought about the different classes back in those days!

  17. I can't wait to read this book! I absolutely love the cover!


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