Governments are good at taxing their citizens, but the tsar Peter the Great has to take the prize. On this day in 1698, he introduced a beard tax.
Ostensibly, he was trying to force a more modern way of living on his population at a time when most Western European men went clean-shaven, but in practice, as with most taxes, the main point was revenue. Anyone who chose to dodge the barbers and preserve his beard had to prove he'd paid the tax by carrying a token inscribed with two phrases: "money taken" and "the beard is a superfluous burden".
With a thought for all our bearded bartender friends, may we recommend an uncut Gem.
Have you ever felt that the pace of modern life is just too much? Wanted to take a step back and just chill for a while?
Then today is for you. It's a time to switch off the smartphone, avoid checking emails and be late - just a little late - for something (ideally not your wedding or a meeting with your probation officer). Because, in fact, the world will most likely go on just fine without you rushing around...
We are not at all sure why Chris Jepson called our drink of the day the Lazy Man Flip, although it's certainly lazier than the original 16th-century flips, which required heating with a fireiron, among other inventions. But it is an excellent choice for a lazy, relaxed day, and if you've got nothing to be late for today, do have one of these instead.
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