What kinds of adult beverages were popular in Tombstone at its peak?

James Rowley
Laingsburg, Michigan

Tombstone’s citizens drank just about anything one could find in the major cities. Freight wagons loaded with goods were rolling into the rich Arizona mining town on a regular basis, bringing goods (including booze) from far and wide. So the movies had it wrong—the boys didn’t belly up to the bar and order cheap beer and rotgut whiskey.

Kelly’s Wine House had 26 brands of the fruit of the vine imported from Europe (and also offered oyster under glass). Some of the popular whiskeys in Tombstone (and throughout the West) were Simmons Old Nabob, J.H. Cutter and Jesse Moore Whiskey. They would compare in today’s world to Jim Beam.

Mixed drinks were in great demand at the saloons. In fact, the favorite drink of the cowboys at Tombstone’s Grand Hotel was a gin fizz toddy.

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