What Went Down the Hatch on the Titanic?
From the "White Line Triple Screw Steamers" booklet One of the Titanic's restaurants, possibly the site of heavy drinking
In the movie Titanic, which will hit theaters in 3-D in April, we see that passengers on the RMS Titanic in all classes really boozed it up before disaster struck. What exactly were they drinking?
The ship's manifest listed 1,000 bottles of wine, 850 spirits bottles, and 191 liquor cases, according to an article in Wine Enthusiast. First-class passengers drank wine, lots of wine. Their regular dinner consisted of 10 courses, each paired with a different wine. On top of that, a 1911 menu from the Titanic's sister ship, Olympic, that Wine Enthusiast dug up suggests the wealthy guests were offered Manhattans, and Tom Collins and John Collins cocktails.
The third-class party that Rose and Jack attend in the movie features plenty of beer guzzling and dancing. According to The Titanic for Dummies (yes, such a book exists), there were 20,000 bottles of beer aboard the ship when it sunk, but it's not clear whether third-class passengers would have been able to afford to buy alcoholic beverages on the ship. A Titanic menu for third-class passengers lists only one drink, tea. So what they actually imbibed in steerage might remain a mystery, unless there are any Titanic aficionados out there who have a lead. If so, shoot us an email -- we're really curious.