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Alcohol consumption and changing customs in French Canadian culture

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Interview with historian Catherine Ferland. She explains the change in habits regarding alcohol consumption in the French Canadian culture.

In the interview by Boucard Diouf on the Canadian radio program Faiseux de Rires, historian Catherine Ferland talks about the special relationship of French Canadians in the past with alcohol. Between church-ordered temperance and the “healing” values of alcohol.

At that time our ancestors considered that drinking a small glass of gin possessed miraculous virtues. According to Catherine Ferland, most people associated the burning effect of strong alcohol with a positive feeling. This burning sensation brought warmth and comfort to people.

Some circles even recommended getting drunk. This allowed the drinking person’s moods to be tempered.

Definitely, other times, other customs!

But it’s not a lie though that we still believe and consider that a grog, a hot toddy or hot drinks with alcohol will relieve a cold or flu.

There are several versions of the grog also known as hot toddy. It is usually prepared with rum. But other versions include cognac, whiskey or kirsch.

It is said that one of the great advantages of such a drink is the vitamin C obtained from lemon juice, however, with squeezing the lemon juice we do not obtain around 2 grams (or more) of vitamin C, which is necessary to attack cold symptoms and shorten the duration. Alcohol, on the other hand, dehydrates. Yes! And not to disappoint you. Anyway, a grog will not hurt us and will relax us and provide that little bit of comfort that the body asks for when we are sick. Discover hot drinks recipes here.


Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly.


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