A lot vs. Alot: 9 Grammatical Pitfalls
early 14c., "piece of armor protecting the arm;" 1580s, "a clamp, bind, brace," from brace (n.). Figurative sense of "that which braces the nerves" is 1740; especially of alcoholic drinks from c.1850. Related: Bracers.
A drink of liquor (1820s+)