A Short History of Happy Hour

A bottle and a glass of Bourbon on a table around customers.

J-FatBooze & Bites2 Comments

There’s nothing better after a hard day’s work than relaxing with friends while enjoying cocktails with some quick, savory, and delicious finger food. So, before this work day is over, we wanted to share with you a little bit of history about where the term “Happy Hour” comes from…

The term itself comes from American Navy slang following WWI. “Happy Hour” was a scheduled period of time for sailors to engage in different ways of entertainment to break away, for a at least an hour, from the monotonous seafaring life. Most of those forms of entertainment included wrestling, boxing matches or other forms of athletic entertainment to boost the morale.

During Prohibition, civilians held “cocktail hours” before they would go out to dinner. With this tradition of dining on inexpensive drinks and appetizers, the term ‘Happy Hour’ became an expression soon picked up from that Navy slang.

Since then, the term “happy Hour” has been mentioned and used in various circumstances until its popularity nowadays. For example, in 1961 a Providence Journal article talks about all going “home happy except the Newport police..and those deprived of their happy hour at the cocktail bar.

Today, the term has evolved into a widespread tradition for co-workers and friends to relax after work with drinks and snacks.

So, now that you know a valuable piece of history, we want to share with you an all-time JFAT’s Happy Hour favorite pic and the recipe so you can give it a try…

Recipe – Happy Hour Baby Back Ribs

happy hour baby back ribs


» 2 racks Baby Back Ribs, back membrane removed  (ask your butcher to do this for you if they don’t come cleaned)

As needed –  

» BBQ Spice Rub

» 1 cup Your favorite brand Barbecue Sauce


Blot ribs with paper towels to remove any excess moisture then rub them generously and evenly on both sides with the pork rub. Place all ribs on pan, cover, and let sit in refrigerator overnight.

The following day, place a cake cooling rack into the bottom of a large, high rimmed roasting pan and pour ½” of water into bottom, making sure that the water does not touch the cooling rack. Add the ribs to the rack, then cover roasting pan with plastic wrap and then foil and place into pre heated oven at 300* for 2 hours.

Remove ribs from oven and make sure that the meat should just start to release the meat from the bones. Lift out cooling rack with ribs on it and let it cool down at room temperature for about 1 hour. Cut rack into individual ribs.

When ready to serve, toss ribs with enough barbecue to coat, place in pan and place 500 degree oven for 5-10 minutes or until the sauce starts to caramelize and the ribs are sizzling hot. Remove from oven, place in serving plate and sprinkle with chopped scallions. Serve with french fries or potato chips with blue cheese dressing.


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  1. Marisa

    Is it 5 o’clock yet??? I can definitively say that i never thought about the history of happy hour. It is very interesting to know where the term comes from… One more topic of conversation in the bag ; )