Today is the anniversary of the repeal of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, sometimes called the Volstead Act. The legislation prohibited the production, sale and consumption of alcohol for all but strictly medicinal purposes.
Cockatil bars across the States and around the world will be offering specials and celebrating Repeal today, but I just thought I would pose the question of are we celebrating the wrong thing?
By spectacularly under-enforcing the Volstead Act, the US Government helped an estimated 30,000-100,000 speakeasy bars get off the ground. These establishments made bathtub Gin downstairs in the basement, and in order to cover up the less than spectacular distillations, they became experts in smoothing the liquor with juices and liqueurs. Prohibition caused an explosion in the number and knowledge of cocktail making that is only perhaps matched by the current internet enabled era of sharing and caring we are going through now.
So raise a glass to repeal today to be sure, but also a second to the ladies above, who knew better than everyone and were willing to nag the country to stop drinking, presumably because they weren’t getting any.