Posted on July 12 2018, by Nick Taggart
Prohibition hit Graeber’s Landing like a Sunday morning hangover.
In the days before the Eighteenth Amendment was scheduled to come into effect, Nussbaum the local saloonkeeper sent word up and down the lake: he would mark the occasion with the party to end all parties.
It seemed like every person from miles around had come into town. Nussbaum’s saloon was so crowded you could barely squeeze through the front doors. The second floor balcony creaked under the strain of the festive mob, and threatened to collapse onto the unruly crowd in the street below.
Bart Noble, the owner of Burnt Point Lodge, was by then very elderly. Nonetheless, he was determined to join the festivities. He put on his warmest woolen clothes, and asked the lodge chef to mix him a large flask of whiskey sours to fortify him for the trip across Wolfpine Lake. Low on supplies, the chef improvised, substituting Christmas oranges for lemon juice, and maple syrup for gomme syrup.
Bundled up in a buffalo robe, sitting in the front of Whitney’s dog sled, racing across the ice for Graeber’s Landing, Noble took one sip from his flask and shouted “Jehovah!” When they arrived at the party, the suddenly spry old man leapt from the sled, pushed his way through the crowd, climbed over the bar and began making “Burnt Point Sours” for everyone.
The next morning, the town was silent. No one made it to church. The hangovers lasted for days. And the Burnt Point Sour was born.