Americans! Celebrate the Repeal!

Drink of the Week's Rachel shares some thoughts on the 79th anniversary of the 21st amendment to the U.S. Constitution, or as it is also almost never called: Repeal Day! I'm certainly glad that Prohibition, which was kicked off by the 18th amendment, is long past.

Rachel steps us through the history of prohibition and how it changed drinking in America.

Not only did Prohibition change how alcohol was produced, it changed how we drank. The speakeasies that sprang up during Prohibition were really the first places to integrate women into drinking establishments. While cocktails were popular prior to Prohibition, they became ever more popular and inventive in the speakeasies to mask the poor quality of the bootleg alcohol that most served. And, the popularity of cocktails spread around the globe with the diaspora of American mixologists, seeking work elsewhere. Among others, London, Paris and Cuba benefited greatly from this diaspora and the hordes of thirsty Americans that followed on their drinking holidays.

Happy Repeal Day – aka Cinco de Drinko on DotW


  1. Here’s to letting the ladies into the bar! Can you imagine a bunch of dude’s drinking in a dark smokey bar in secret somewhere. Sounds like a Freemasonic Sweat Lodge. Whew.

  2. That confirms my own bias toward cocktails – if you don’t want to drink it neat, it’s probably not fit to drink at all.

    Except if you’re making eggnog, or getting your fruitcake drunk.  Those are different things altogether.

    1. Thats tomorrow, today is the 5th of december not sure how you are in the future. If you want to get extra pedantic it wasn’t adopted till the 18th of dec.

  3. Ironically, or perhaps not, marijuana becomes de jure legal in Washington state tomorrow.

    (I say de jure because it will remain theoretically illegal under federal law.)

  4. Prohibition isn’t close to over – if anything it’s worse than ever.  Just read yesterday that there are now more people locked up for drug-related offenses than were locked up for all offenses in 1980.  Because it was unconstitutional to ban alcohol without an amendment, but everything else is just fine (right?).

    And regarding alcohol specifically (America’s second-favorite drug): in my state, people aren’t even allowed to sell liquor (the State maintains that monopoly).  There are dry towns, liquor licensing laws that keep small startups out of the business, etc.  All remnants of Prohibition.

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