I think of cocktail parties as a fairly modern phenomenon. However, John Hancock, one of the signers of the Declaration oof Independence, is famous for hosting one of the greatest cocktail parties of history.
In 1792, years after the Americans defeated the British in the Revolutionary War, Hancock decided to throw a cocktail party for members of the Bston Fusiliers. The Fusiliers was a military organization composed mostly of veterans of the War.
Old records reveal that eighty Fusiliers attended the party. During the evening, they consumed 138 bowls of spiked punch, 21 bottles of sherry, and 28 small barrels of brandy and hard cider.
Host Hancock picked up the entire tab.