Saturday, December 8, 2018

Do you use Four Queens Whiskey in your Boilo?

Boilo is a popular, long standing alcoholic drink in the coal region of Pennsylvania. Many families have their own recipes and even add secret ingredients. In Schuylkill County, many choose to use Four Queens when brewing Boilo. Four Queens has become so popular in Schuylkill County, that it has the highest percentage of sales around the United States.

Boilo has been called the "Champagne of the Coal Region" or "Anthracite Miner's Cure for Everything." It was even known to start a few house fires back in the 1930s. Miners, who spent all day deep in a fifty degree coal mine, would savor a small cup of hot Boilo after work. It has also been known to cure influenza and other ailments. Fast forward to the present, Boilo has become so popular that bars, fire departments, and the Schuylkill County Fair holds an annual Boilo competition.

"Boilo" is a high octane mulled alcoholic Lithuanian drink that has been served hot in the coal region for over 100 years. In spite of its name, Boilo is not boiled. Citrus fruits (oranges and lemons), herbs and spices (nutmeg, cloves, caraway seeds, and anise seeds), honey, ginger ale, and traditional alcohol base (moonshine, blended whiskey, rye or grain alcohol) are slowly brewed on a stove top or slow cooker.

Due to the popularity of Boilo, one brand of whiskey is very popular in Schuylkill County. While everyone has their own unique recipe and ingredients, Four Queens is one of the most popular whiskey brands used in Boilo. The distillation company of Four Queens, Laird & Company is based in Scobeyville, New Jersey. The question is, how much of the whiskey is actually sold in Schuylkill County?

Susan Herrman, Sales Administrator for Laird & Company, stated that Four Queens is sold more in Schuylkill County than anywhere else in the country. Herrman said, "ninety-five perfect of Four Queens Whiskey’s total US Sales are sold in Pennsylvania and twenty-five percent of all sales in Pennsylvania are from Schuylkill County…Following a distant second, third, and fourth were Berks, Luzerne, and Cambria who each account of five percent."

What brand of alcohol do you use in your Boilo?

Written by J.Reed and Megan Hepler

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