A drinker would do well to remember Repeal Day, December 5, 1933. It's when Americans got back their right to party. After 13 dark years of Prohibition, the 18th Amendment was repealed saying good-bye to bootlegging and bathtub gin by making it legal to once again imbibe. Imagine how thirsty for the good stuff those people must have been.
Toast to the 78th anniversary of Repeal Day with lots of cocktails and drink specials around L.A. And for those who'd rather do their toasting at home — maybe while watching Ken Burns' Prohibition — we've included some DIY cocktail recipes.
Neat in Glendale has two special infusions for Repeal Day Weekend: a bacon-washed Four Roses Bourbon and a Butter Mexican Cinnamon and Brown Sugar Reposado Tequila ($12 each), which can be served with the chaser of your choice.
Cole's in Downtown L.A. is going all out on Sunday, which marks not only Repeal Day Eve but the venue's 103rd anniversary. The first 200 guests will get a free French dip sandwich while hosted bathtub gin will be served out of a bathtub ice sculpture (9 p.m. to 12 a.m.), followed by a champagne toast at midnight. Time to break out the Prohibition duds.
Comme Ca's drink special for Repeal Day is purchase a Rye Smash, a Last Word or a 1920 cocktail and get the second one for 78 cents, in honor of the 78th anniversary.
In West Hollywood, The Hudson has a $5 Repeal Day specialty cocktail available all day and made with cranberry-walnut-ginger-infused vodka, lime, simple, club soda and grated nutmeg.
At the Tar Pit Bar on La Brea, your first drink on Monday is just 65 cents and then each cocktail off its
At Tasting Kitchen in Venice, L.A.'s 2011 best bartender, Justin Pike, created the aptly named Dance of Joy ($12), which is available now through the end of next week. It's a rye-based drink with ginger, lemon and French herbal liqueur MP Roux. “For me, the drink has a spice content and anise back end, and the use of rye and French liqueur brings up New Orleans and the celebration of Repeal Day,” said Pike.
Dance of Joy
From: Justin Pike, of Tasting Kitchen
Makes: 1 drink
1 ounce Russells Rye Whiskey
1 ounce Becherovka herbal liqueur
3/4 ounce lemon juice
3/4 ounce orange juice
1/4 ounce Elisir MP Roux liqueur
1/4 ounce ginger juice
1/4 ounce honey
1. Shake in cocktail tin filled with ice.
2. Strain on a large rock in an old fashioned glass.
Down at Seal Beach on Sunday, 320 Main will be debuting a new carbonated cocktail called Virginia Dare ($12), which was named after a Prohibition wine extract company. 320 Main bartender/owner Jason Schiffer had originally created the drink to be stirred in a mixing glass but, inspired by Portland bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler and having just acquired an iSi Twist & Sparkle carbonation system, he decided to carbonate and bottle the stuff.
From: Jason Schiffer of 320 Main
Makes: 1 drink
1 ounce Plymouth Gin
1 ounce St-Germain
1 ounce Sauvignon Blanc
1 teaspoon Aperol
1. Stir and strain into chilled cocktail glass.
2. Garnish with a large twist of grapefruit.
Caroline on Crack writes about drinking around Los Angeles on her blog of the same name. Follow her real-time drinking on Twitter, @carolineoncrack.