We always love a reason to celebrate. And in a few days we’ll have another one—the 75th anniversary of the repeal of prohibition. The WSJ is calling it “Cinco de Drinko.” Fantastic.
Below, a sampling of parties going on around the country and, if you’re throwing your own, what you should be serving.
Digital City: Even Scottish import Dewar’s Scotch Whisky is ecstatic over the event. Dewar’s will be holding parties all over the country. Moonshine Restaurant in Chicago, Illinois is hosting the Dewar’s party-throwers along with bars in cities all over the country. Check to see if your local watering hole is hosting a shindig or get tips from Dewar’s on hosting your own.
In Boston, Eastern Standard will attempt to recreate a speak easy on December 4, the day before the actual anniversary. The “Roaring 20’s” party is planned to run the entire night but starting the following night, an even bigger party will commence and run for the entire year to celebrate 75 years of legal liquor. The event will include a menu of 12 Prohibition-era cocktails, a special cocktail each month and a Prohibition tasting flight featuring a little of each of the twelve cocktails.
On the other coast, the appropriately-named 21st Amendment Brewery will be holding a week-long celebration with a new special every night of the week. On Monday, the brewery will tap a keg of “Beerly Legal Lager” a concoction brewed especially for the occasion. Wednesday invites party-goers to “Eat, Drink and Beer Merry”. The “Repealebration Celebration” will kick off Friday.
The Flossmoor Station Brewery & Restaurant in Flossmoor, Illionois is showing their excitement by releasing their handcrafted beers in new 22 oz. bottles. Wineries in St. Helena, California are combining their efforts to throw a party along the area’s Main Street from December 5 through 7 offering visitors specials and more.
WSJ: Commodore Bedroom (for 2)
4 oz gin
2 oz orange ice
½ oz fresh lemon juice
2 dashes orange bitters
2 dashes Angostura bitters
The only “orange water ice” I could find at my local supermarket was in a mixed-flavour assortment of Breyers “Pure Fruit Bars.” One orange ice-pop, broken into chunks, is just right for two drinks. Shake all the ingredients vigorously with ice, and strain into cocktail glasses. Garnish? They didn’t do garnish up in the Commodore bedrooms.
Why the Commodore Bedroom?
What to drink this Repeal Day? In the “Stork Club Bar Book,” published a little over a decade after Repeal, Lucius Beebe describes the drinking habits of the Prohibition-era Yalies who would pop into New York for a weekend. A dozen undergraduates would take a single room at the Commodore Hotel. “As many as fifteen were able to spend the night in such an apartment,” Beebe writes, “with a maximum of discomfort and minimum of cash outlay.” Hangovers would be treated by scrounging up a few quarts of gin, “calling upon room service for an appropriate quantity of orange water ice,” and mixing the two in the wastebasket. The result was the Commodore Bedroom.
The challenge is to make this memento mori of Prohibition palatable without losing what Beebe called its “rough-and-ready” character. I had luck adding some fresh lemon juice and a liberal application of orange bitters and Angostura.
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