The inspiration for Dueling Cocktails is a real-life 19th century duel between the brothers of two famous Tennesseans. On December 2, 1838, Richard Hayes, the brother of Adelicia Acklen, attended a party in Columbia, Tennessee. At this party, Richard made an unflattering comment about the escort of William Polk, brother of future President James K. Polk. With his honor in question, William challenged young Richard to a duel.
This duel took place the next day, Monday, December 3, 1838, in Columbia, Tennessee. Tragically, Mr. Richard Hayes later died from injuries sustained during the duel. Weeks later, William was charged with assault and battery. While duels seem barbaric to a modern audience, they were paramount in Victorian society for exhibiting courage and manliness, signs of a true upper-class gentleman. Dueling Cocktails was conceived as a way to honor the life of Adelicia's older brother, Richard Hayes.
Now in its fifth year, Dueling Cocktails is one of Belmont Mansion's signature fundraisers. This year, three signature cocktails duel for the top spot at the bar. You won't want to miss this historic event. We promise no swords will be drawn, except maybe to saber the champagne!