Green’s Dictionary of Slang

fresh adj.1

also freshish, freshy
[SE fresh wind, a light wind that is noticeable but that wouldn’t blow one over; Egan, Life in London (1821), defines it as ‘a country phrase altogether’]

tipsy, slightly drunk.

[UK]Egan Life in London (1869) 164: The company, who had not been idle with their glasses, had now got rather freshish.
[UK]Disraeli Venetia II 344: ‘Are you very drunk?’ ‘My dear fellow, I am as fresh as possible.’.
[UK]Hull Packet 31 May 3/1: My friend, you were druink on your beat, and I was freshish.
[UK]Punch XIII 213/2: Fresh is [...] the state of the convivial Fast Man who has been drinking too liberally of spirituous liquors.
[UK]Mons. Merlin 18 Oct. 6/2: Should he [drink] to excess, he does not become, like ordinary mortals, intoxicated, but ‘fresh;’ he may advance to ‘boskiness,’ or get ‘tight screwed’.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[UK]Taunton Courier 19 Aug. 8/5: The first degree was that of sobriety [...] the fifth, when he was ‘fresh’.
[UK]York Herald 23 Apr. 6/1: The defendant and the waggoner had been ‘fresh’.
[US]G.W. Peck Peck’s Sunshine 99: Whether the young Mr. Darling told the boys that Mr. Hoyt was ‘fresh’ or not, perhaps, will never be known.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 25 Apr. 11/2: ‘The fresher of the two carried a bottle of gin under his arm, and advised the unfresh one to be careful about stepping over the plank, and naturally, having seen his companion aboard, returned ashore, grabbed his gin and his parcel, stepped out, and fell into the sea.’.
[UK]M. Davitt Leaves from a Prison Diary I 176: He came home from work one Saturday evening ‘a little fresh,’ but not drunk.
[UK]P.H. Emerson Signor Lippo 96: I thought I heard someone call me on the stairs, but I was a bit fresh.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 2 Sept. 7/5: And he and his ‘fresh’ English mates did up their ‘bally tin’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 7 Apr. 24/3: Two prominent M.L. racing-men set out to christen a new buggy lately, and soon got ‘fresh.’ [...] [W]hen told to harness-up later on, he costumed the wrong nag.
[UK]Surrey Mirror 23 Dec. n.p.: He was variously described as being ‘freshy,’ ‘cherry merry’ and ‘juiced up’.