Eighty years ago, this Thursday, December 5, fifteen state delegates were called to the state convention to formally ratify the Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution, which repealed prohibition. And that is definitely something to toast to this week.
The 14-year ban on alcohol in the US turned, otherwise law-abiding citizens into booze-smuggling speakeasy gallivanting criminals. Prohibition agents destroyed bars, confiscated liquor and arrested criminals that became household names. Due to the poor quality of alcohol during this time, a renaissance of cocktail creation began to mask the harsh taste of “bathtub” spirits.
Today, classic or retro cocktails brought to life during Prohibition have seen continued growth thanks, in part, to Don Draper (from Mad Men) but more importantly to the bartenders that are using bold flavors, fresh ingredients and mix their own bitters, syrups and infusions. Speakeasy-style bars that serve regression drinks continue to grow and if you’re not responsive to the trend then patrons will sip these palatable libations elsewhere.
Bars all across the country are taking advantage of the profits that can be had from celebrating the anniversary. Bar Louie’s Prohibition Repeal “Blowout Bash” celebration will be an all-day event at their locations across the country. Blake Rohrabaugh, Bar Louie’s Beverage Director, has designed three Prohibition era cocktails that will be featured for the day including the French 75, Irish Old Fashioned and Sidecar. “We’re celebrating not only because the ‘Bar’ in Bar Louie wouldn’t exist without it, but it also recognizes the legitimacy of quality distillation, fermentation, and the art of bartending,” says Rohrabaugh.
So, this Thursday, recreate some of these beloved recipes for your customers and rejoice in the fact that drinking is no longer illegal.