Happy Repeal Day!
For those of you who might not be aware (a diminishing number annually, I fervently hope), there is an other winter holiday to celebrate, “the most joyous of all winter holidays,” as my friend Tatsu said yesterday.
Repeal Day is December 5, and celebrates the anniversary of the Repeal of Prohibition, the “Noble Experiment” that was anything but. Prohibition brought about myriad ill effects to the country and the world, including the loss of every job in the brewery, winery, distillery and hospitality industry that relied on making and serving alcoholic beverages, the criminalization of millions of Americans who simply enjoyed having a drink, and the wide expansion of a criminal underclass to provide liquor to the masses (without caring too much about whether or not that liquor would poison you).
Getting rid of and recovering from all those ills (and to this day we’re still recovering from the ill-effects of Prohibtion) and having the freedom to have and enjoy a drink is well worth celebrating, don’t you think? We have our friend Jeffrey Morgenthaler to thank for coming up with the idea to make this a widely-celebrated national holiday, and it’s getting more and more well-known every year.
A bit of history, shall we?
The Twenty-First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America
SECTION 1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.
SECTION 2. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use there in of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.
SECTION 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.
Among many other ill effects, Prohibition was the near-death blow to the cocktail. The 1960s through the 1980s were a vast wasteland of poor-quality drinking, and with the exception of a few contemporary pioneers who helped us along the way it’s only within the last several years that we’ve all begun to learn how to drink again. Besides, with alcohol outlawed, are these the people you’d want to spend any time hanging out with?
Boy, their parties must have been rip-roarers.
So today, to celebrate freedom … have a drink. I’ll be tipping a cocktail to our poster of Carrie Nation — you lost, honey — with perhaps a Manhattan cocktail containing The Bitter Truth’s highly limited edition, very sold-out and extremely wonderful Repeal Bitters. Have a beer, a glass of wine, a cocktail. Have ‘em with friends and/or family Have ‘em responsibly, and enjoy the day.