Serving up historical past – with a facet of spirits | Way of life

PAWTUCKET – Learning about native historical past in a conventional lecture setting is completely tremendous. But, would studying about native historical past whereas sampling native spirits improve the expertise? Now is your likelihood to search out out.

The Rhode Island Historical Society is continuous its year-long Drink within the History collection, a part of the group’s Bicentennial Celebrations, at White Dog Distilling in Pawtucket on Thursday, March 10, at 6 p.m.

Each month all through 2022, RIHS will pair a Rhode Island beverage associate and its drink choices with a singular historical past presentation. Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks will likely be included all through the collection.

At the March 10 occasion, Alecia Catucci, co-owner and co-founder of White Dog Distilling, will likely be giving contributors a behind-the-scenes tour of the distillery whereas providing tastings of White Dog spirits.

Catucci mentioned company will obtain a welcome mini-cocktail within the tasting room, sliders offered by Ming’s Sando Bar, and be escorted to the manufacturing space and launched to the distilling course of. They’ll even be served tastings of White Dog’s moonshine and rum. The occasion would be the public’s first have a look at the distillery’s newly renovated manufacturing house.

She described the brand new house as “900-plus square feet housing our total operations: still, mash tun, fermenters, bottling, future canning. It holds our barrels that age our bourbons and our whiskeys.”

Catucci, who co-owns the enterprise at 560 Mineral Spring Ave. with husband Carlo Catucci and enterprise companions Eric Sylvestre and Vincent Greene, mentioned White Dog is thrilled to be a part of the RIHS collection.

Catucci mentioned her introduction to distilling started when her husband, Carlo, began making an attempt the method at dwelling, with an alternate gas allow from the federal authorities. The pair are self taught – studying, researching and placing within the work to accumulate their distilling information, beginning out with a 5-gallon pot nonetheless. (They’ve since moved as much as a 50-gallon nonetheless). It wasn’t lengthy earlier than the passion was one thing extra.

“I took him on a date hopping through the breweries in Pawtucket,” she mentioned. “We met Nichole (Pelletier) at Crooked Current.”

Catucci mentioned they chatted, noticed what Pelletier was doing in her brewery house, and, “two weeks later we signed the lease in 300 square feet” for his or her first location.

She mentioned when it comes to recipes, Carlo is the pinnacle distiller, and everyone seems to be concerned in every step of the distilling course of.

“He taught us, we all distill, we all mash. I do most of the tasting room cocktail recipes,” she mentioned. “We make everything from scratch. We buy all raw ingredients.”

To pair with the theme of native distilling, researchers Traci Picard and Andrew Polta, members of the Snowtown Research Group, will likely be giving a presentation throughout the occasion on Eliza Granger, a feminine distiller in Providence’s Snowtown group throughout the early nineteenth century.

Polta, an archaeologist with the Public Archaeology Laboratory, mentioned the 2 will current on the “lost” neighborhood of Snowtown – a mixed-race neighborhood that flourished from across the 1810s to the Nineties, when it was destroyed to make means for the railroad.

Polta mentioned the neighborhood was positioned alongside Smith Street and the northern finish of Gaspee Street, the place the Amtrak station is now positioned.

“In its early days, which is what we’ll be focusing on, Snowtown was known as a haunt for sailors who wanted to have a good time between voyages, and as a neighborhood where Black Rhode Islanders, many of whom had been freed from slavery in the wake of the Revolution, could find cheap housing to buy or rent,” mentioned Polta.

He mentioned some folks might acknowledge the world due to the Snowtown Riot of 1831, when a white mob attacked and destroyed many buildings there.

“Eliza Granger is a good way to complicate the historical memory of Snowtown,” mentioned Polta. “Granger was a white woman, a widow who got into trouble with the Town Council for selling liquor without a license (specifically: ‘Gin in a less quantity than ten gallons’ and rum ‘in the quantity of one half pint’) and running what the Providence authorities called a ‘disorderly house’ on the south side of Smith Street.”

“However, the records make clear that Granger had personal contacts with Providence authorities and such notables as Nicholas Brown (of Brown and Ives) – Brown personally interceded on her behalf with the Town Council,” mentioned Polta. “We want to show that the divide between the disorderly and respectable parts of Providence was by no means clear cut, and to emphasize that much of the disorder that authorities saw in the neighborhood was merely people like Granger struggling to make a living in ways that were socially or culturally unacceptable to those authorities.”

So far this 12 months, the Drink within the History Series has visited Narragansett Brewery and Dave’s Coffee. Still to come back: A Chinese tea ceremony with a historical past of the custom in April; a May go to to Rhode Island Spirits Distillery, housed in a former jewellery manufacturing unit, for a tasting and a chat concerning the historical past of the state’s jewellery trade; a go to to Yacht Club Soda and a presentation a few particular taste in June; a July tasting at Sons of Liberty with a historical past of their namesake’s work in pre-revolutionary Rhode Island; August’s occasion provides drinks from Little Maven Lemonade with flavors impressed from all over the world and an exploration of Rhode Island’s immigrant historical past; a September go to to Sowams Cider Works for a tasting and an exploration of their historic varietals of apples; October will function Granny Squibb’s Iced Tea; November’s occasion will likely be at Anchor & Hope Winery for a tasting of craft wine and a chat on the RIHS’s historic wine cellar data; and December will function scorching chocolate from Ellie’s and a presentation on the historical past of chocolate.

Other occasions to rejoice the RIHS Bicentennial will embrace 4 separate 2 hundredth Jubilees, a free month-to-month Inside the Archives collection, the twenty fifth season of Concerts Under the Elms and extra.

Tickets for the March 10 Drink within the History occasion at White Dog are $40 for RIHS members and $45 for non-members. To buy tickets, or to study extra about future occasions, go to

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