When one mentions Punjabis, one surely believes in alcohol. One of the most used words in Punjabi is ‘Patiala Peg’. Whether it’s a song or a drink, the word has been used frequently. But do you know what is the story behind Patiala Peg?
No more! We are not conversing about Diljit Dosanjh‘s ‘Patiala Peg’ but the size of the liquor – which is about 120 ml. The story goes something like this …
Once upon a time, there was a mysterious personality – he was a terrible fighter, a man of good taste. It is said that there were 365 women (queens and concubines) in his palace. He also owned more than 10 Rolls-Royce cars and the famous Patiala necklace with 2930 diamonds, including the world’s seventh-largest De Beers.
This is none other than Maharaja Sir Bhupinder Singh who ruled the state of Patiala from 1900 to his death in 1938.
Returning to the story, the Maharaja had a polo group consisting of recognized Sikh warriors. In the early 1900s, the Maharaja invited an Irish team to a friendly game of “tent pegging” called ‘Viceroy’s Pride’.
For those unfamiliar with the game, tent pegging is a horse riding game that has its origins when horse riders removed the tent poles of an enemy camp to trap a soldier. It evolved into a phenomenon where riders charge directly and use a lance to lift a pole stuck in the ground.
So when the Irish arrived, the home team was afraid of losing the Maharaja’s honor, despite their prestige, looking as impressive as their Sikh counterpart. Now the Irish team had a tradition of drinking to its full potential every night and performing at its best the next day! Seeing this, the Maharaja hatched a conspiracy.
Continuing the routine, a party was organized in Patiala the night before the match. During this time they served double the amount of alcohol and both the teams drank as much as they could.
The latter effects were not very good, the Irish were still under the influence and could not do their best to defeat them, while the Patiala team became famous for their drinking ability.
Since that day, Patiala’s Peg has been known for its powerful quantity and residual effect, which only a few people (and Punjabis) can understand!