41st Heritage Ball Honors Sesquicentennial with Signature Cocktail

Boneset & SpruceMade From Local Ingredients, “Boneset & Spruce” To Reflect Tennessee’s Civil War Era

Patrons attending the annual Heritage Ball next month will have the chance to sip on a cocktail similar to one generals and soldiers might have made to drink off the battlefield during the Civil War.

The 41st Annual Heritage Ball, to be held Saturday, September 20 at Franklin’s Eastern Flank Battlefield Park, will recognize the 150th Anniversary of the 1864 Battle of Franklin through details ranging from the decor and menu down to the signature libation.

Jon Yeager of PourTaste—who also crafted the GRAY’S on Main cocktail menu—created the signature drink, called the Boneset & Spruce, drawing inspiration from a recipe found in a book called The Young Housekeeper’s Friend, published in 1863 by M.H. Cornelius.

“We’re commemorating the Sesquicentennial of the Battle of Franklin this year, and we wanted that to come through in the cocktail,” said Yeager. “We opened up the vaults and actually went through some recipes those folks would’ve made back then.”

The book contains a traditional drink recipe that calls for spruce and boneset beer, which would often be accompanied by rum or brandy. Yeager’s adaptation is made with molasses, lemon, essence of spruce, boneset root bitters, brandy, rum and mint, and has an almost tea-like quality.

“Every ingredient in this cocktail honors Franklin, honors Tennessee and honors the 150,” said Yeager. “We use brandy because America was actually born off brandy, not whiskey, and the sweetening agent is molasses, which was typical of that era. Mint was also commonly used because we all know in the South mint grows like a weed, so it was something you didn’t have to buy.”

In addition to the Boneset & Spruce, patrons will also be able to choose from a selection of wines and other spirits provided by Lipman Brothers & R.S. Lipman Company.

All proceeds from the 41st Annual Heritage Ball benefit the works of the Heritage Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to protect and preserve the architectural, geographical and cultural heritage of Franklin and Williamson County, and to promote the ongoing economic revitalization of downtown Franklin in the context of historic preservation.

For more information on the Ball, go here or call Torrey Barnhill at (615) 591-8500.