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just a guy
Oct 25, 2016
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S. Jersey/Philadelphia area
wine brick. that’s pretty interesting. I love all those types of historical facts. We did a stay at Renault winery in NJ years ago and learned they had a similar method to get around prohibition. (Though they had some serious mobster ties and were able to get themselves a “medicinal wine permit” via Arnold Rothstien, Nucky Thompson and all those Boardwalk Empire gangsters)

In 1919, John D’Augustino and family bought the winery and continued to operate it during National Prohibition under a special government permit. The permit allowed the production of wines for religious and medicinal purposes. Renault Wine Tonic, which had an alcoholic content of 22 percent, became the chief product and was sold in drug stores across the nation as a health tonic. A label warned not to chill the tonic because it would turn into wine. (It was 44 proof alchohol with an added ingredient called peptine. When chilled, the peptine separated and froze on the bottom leaving the wine floating on top.). An advertisement for Renault Tonic featured a young woman in a pink gown and called the tonic the “fountain of youth,” touting that it relieved fatigue.


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