Vintage Ad Archive: Alcoholic Americana!

AlcProf4thAmDist1949
AlcProf4thAmDist1949

Fourth Of July weekend is one of those moments in American culture that's inextricably linked to leisure, relaxation, and summer vacation. Whether it's watermelon and punch at the park, a cotton-candy filled excursion to the nearest amusement park, or an unexpectedly eventful vacation at Amity Island, rest and relaxation go hand-in-hand with the fireworks and patriotic pageantry of Independence Day. And of course, when planning any precious few moments away from the hustle and bustle of a 9-to-5 lifestyle, one doesn't just need to determine the appropriate setting, but also ensure you have everything you'll need to make each moment properly memorable: sufficiently stylish clothing for any social affair, swimsuits and sunscreen in case of beaches or pools, and exactly the right beverage for any special occasion that may arise. (There is a long national tradition of such activity – our founding fathers themselves were known for their love of delectable drinkables.)

So in that festive spirit, I've taken a trawl through my archives, and present to you a selection of all-time great flag-waving advertising!

Bourbon is the first thing that comes to mind when one considers American spirits, so it's not surprising that many companies have used national pride to appeal to potential customers. Throughout the 20th century, one could flip through pretty much any major magazine and be assailed by patriotic pitches for Kentucky's finest.

In fact, James Pepper's series of historical ads even devoted an entire installment to the events of July 4th, 1776.

James E. Pepper, 1940
James E. Pepper, 1940

And bourbon wasn't the only style of whisky to wrap themselves in the red, white and blue – a great number of distilleries took pains to present themselves in an All-American light.

Sensing a good thing, other liquors also attempted to get a piece of the action, with varying results. Some pulled it off admirably...

...Some, not so much.

American Creme, 1981
American Creme, 1981

And of course, nothing says "America" like beer. Breweries also wore their patriotism proudly!

Pabst, 1949
Pabst, 1949
Budweiser, 1956
Budweiser, 1956

So, this holiday weekend, grab the beverage of your choice, and celebrate our great country in fine sipping style. As you can see, it's the patriotic (and historically accurate) thing to do!