June’s Best Reads on Drinks and Drinking

This month: the history of the frozen Margarita, America's first great wine grape, the bar that sparked a deadly riot and more.

Facing a decline in demand, dairy farmers across the country have turned their attention to a different “liquid capital,” namely, beer. In The New York Times, Joshua Bernstein outlines the latest chapter in the intertwined narratives of America’s dairy farmers, many of whom are opening tap rooms, and craft brewers. [The New York Times]

Cuvée des Vignes d’Antan, a “borderline mythical, quasi black-market wine,” has been in production for nearly a century in Beaumont, France, where it’s made from outlawed French-American hybrid vines. Eric J. Wallace on the group of rebellious winemakers striving to save the historic wine from archaic laws. [Atlas Obscura]

On May 11th, 1971, Mariano Martinez dispensed the first ever mass-producible frozen margarita from a repurposed soft-serve ice cream machine in Dallas, Texas. In Smithsonian Magazine, Franz Lidz explores the origins of the innovation that would forever change the drinking landscape of the United States. [Smithsonian Magazine]

Once a corny date-spot locale, the modern wine bar is undergoing a transformation, dictated in part by their kitchens. From the Four Horsemen in New York to Canard in Portland, Oregon, Anna Roth investigates the role chefs are playing in the renewed relevance of the wine bar. [Eater]

In Yamhill County, Oregon—the state’s most lucrative corner of wine country—the growing presence of pot farms has sparked an ugly war between neighbors, as winemakers claim that the newcomers are tainting the terroir. Natalie O’Neill on the burgeoning conflict between traditional vintners and marijuana entrepreneurs. [The Outline]

Using DNA analysis, the initiative VitusGen, which began in 2011 with funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, aims to map the genome of American wine grapes, pinpointing the areas that determine flavor, aroma, pest resistance and more. The end goal? To redeem indigenous American grapes to the point where they rival even the most coveted European counterparts. [Smithsonian Magazine]

In 1906, inflamed by fake news of assaults on white women, a white mob stormed The Vendome Lounge in Atlanta, a black-owned establishment, killing between 25 and 40 people. Wayne Curtis on the real story of the bar that found itself at the center of a deadly riot. [The Daily Beast]

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Tagged: long reads