Tag Archives: Prohibition

Boozy Museums

Featured Story / February 25, 2017 / No Comments.

founding-drunkards-hdrIn the mood to do something fun this weekend? We found an awesome list of museums dedicated to the history of booze (shout out to Amy Zavatto’s article on Liquor.com).

1. Museum of the American Cocktail (New Orleans): New Orleans is the only city in the nation to have its own officially legislated cocktail, the Sazerac. Barman Dale DeGroff opened the country’s first museum dedicated to the cocktail. It’s located in Central City in he Southern Food & Beverage Museum. This place has it all, from antique bottles, books, openers and all other aspects of booze history. They also have rotating exhibits which means you can go more than once and see something new every time!

2. Fraunces Tavern Museum (New York City): NYC was once a significant site of Revolutionary War activity. Built in 1719, this tavern/museum’s namesake, innkeeper and entrepreneur Samuel Fraunces, took over the old stone building in the 1750’s which became a hangout for the Sons of Liberty. You can see the room where George Washington said farewell to his Revolutionary generals and view an actual silk slipper worn by Martha Washington herself. They also have special events, like learning the art of making colonial milk punch, or check out the working tavern with over one hundred beers and three hundred whiskeys.

3. Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History (Bardstown, KY): This Kentucky spot, named for the whiskey distiller and spirited historian Oscar Getz, is stocked with Getz’s own collectables from the Revolutionary War to Prohibition and beyond. There’s also anti/pro whiskey advertisements, legal documents and licenses, and the most interesting collections of old whiskey bottles in the country.

4. George Washington’s Distillery and Gristmill (Alexandria, VA): The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, American historians, and preservation-minded distillers are to thank for the restoration of the distillery that George Washington ran from 1797 to his death in 1799. Twice a year at this active distillery,  manager of the historic trades, Steve Bashore, stokes the fires that fuel the olds ways of whiskey distilling. Even when they aren’t producing whiskey, a tour is well worth it to get an authentic glimpse into the past. And you can buy the booze too. But be warned: bottled history doesn’t come cheap but it sure does taste good.



These 5 Weird Alcohol Laws Will Get You Arrested

Featured Story / November 29, 2016 / No Comments.

ff9974c3635ae480f6d5142d64838b18The 21st Amendment was ratified on December 5, 1933, ending Prohibition. (That makes Monday its birthday. Still time to get it something nice!) But while alcohol has been legal in the U.S. for the last 83 years, there are a lot of laws about how and when and where it can be sold and consumed.

We want to make sure you, our dear readers, stay on the right side of Johnny Law. So please be aware of these alcohol laws:

  • In Colorado, riding a horse while under the influence of alcohol is considered a traffic infraction. Call Uber-Horse instead. Is that a thing? It should be.
  • In one town in Texas, it’s illegal to take more than three sips of beer at a time while standing. You wanted to sit anyways.
  • Alabama doesn’t allow the sale of any booze with a label that shows any person(s) posed in an immodest or sensuous manner. Hold on a sec, I gotta go image-search “labels banned in Alabama.”
  • Alaska, Indiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Utah, and Vermont all have laws restricting happy hour and other drink specials. Good news: There are 42 other states.
  • In Fairbanks, Alaska, it’s a crime to give alcohol to a moose. Hey, more beer for us.
  • In 50 states, it’s perfectly legal to drink publicly as long as you deftly conceal it with a Solo cup.*

*This one is not true. We can dream, right? Don’t blame Drinking in America when you get busted.


New Beer’s Eve

Our Stories / April 6, 2016 / No Comments.


New Beer’s Eve isn’t just another made up drinking holiday. It has some real historical significance.

We all know that Prohibition ended on December 5, 1933, but before that date came the Cullen-Harrison Act which allowed the manufacturing and sale of beer up to 3.2% alcohol. Previously, the limit defined by the Volstead Act as ‘intoxicating liquor’ was anything over 0.5% alcohol. Child’s play. While this new limit was signed into law on March 23rd, it did not go into effect until April 7th.

The story goes that at 12:01 AM on the 7th, FDR said “I think this would be a good time for a beer.” He was delivered a drink by an Anheuser-Busch Clydesdale drawn carriage.

So here we are, many years later still as excited to crack open a beer as our predecessors were the night before their favorite beverage became legal once again. Sure, it’d be another few months before they could have liquor again, but this was a pretty good start.


Repeal Day

Featured Story / December 5, 2015 / No Comments.


On this day in 1933 prohibition ended and our great nation hasn’t stopped celebrating since. It’s only fair that we continue to honor this historic day in the year 2015.  After all, we still haven’t fully made up for those 13 wasted years of liquorless nights.

Dressing up like a flapper and hosting a party with your friends is one way to pay your respects. These cocktails offer fun and timely suggestions for you to serve your guests. All you’ll need to worry about is getting your old record player back in fighting shape.

If you’d rather make a public appearance for your Repeal Day festivities then there are plenty of bars celebrating the day with deals that will make you think it’s still 1933. It’s easy to drag your friends out on the town when they have delicious $1 drinks to look forward to.

However your decide to celebrate that fact that alcohol is part of our daily lives, remember to do so responsibly.


Prohibition Whiskey from 1914 Found

Our Stories / June 6, 2015 / No Comments.

waterfill_frazierMichigan homeowners John and Cheryl Borchert have found a variety of old, strange artifacts in their 100+ year old home. From old dishes, to bullets and porcelain doll faces (no thank you), the house built in 1890 has turned up all sorts of strange things. But when their builder found two bottles of whiskey during a renovation, things got real.

The whiskey was distilled by the Waterfill and Frazier Distillery in Kentucky before the owner moved operations to Mexico to escape the Prohibition Act in the States. The bottles bear Prohibition issued stamps that put the bottling date in 1914, but the newspaper wrapping the bottles is from November of 1921. While the original owner’s plans for a Prohibition-era party clearly fell through, it’s an interesting find for the Borcherts. The bottles have been estimated at upwards of $700 but right now the couple doesn’t plan to open or sell their find, choosing to display them instead. We can’t blame them but we also can’t help but hope our next spring cleaning will turn up more than $20 in the pocket of our winter coats!


Prohibition Finally Ends At Moody Bible Institute

Beer / October 10, 2013 / No Comments.

moody bible institute drinking

So you’ve decided to give your life to becoming a college professor. As if guiding our youth through their college years wasn’t hard enough, all you have to do now is swear off alcohol, tobacco, and extramarital sex.


Sound crazy? Well at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, that’s exactly what faculty has been signing up for since 1886. This college has held their faculty to this crazy standard due to their super conservative status. But this month the trustees at Moody Bible lifted their alcohol ban due to difficulties recruiting employees (shocking). With this rule now overturned their employees are finally free from this unspeakable tyranny.


Professor Michael McDuffee, a former Marine, and professor at the Moody Bible Institute for the last twenty years summed up his experience by saying, “I had been a man convinced that three drinks can quench our thirst: milk, lemonade, and a cold beer, and for 20 years I was drinking milk and lemonade.” You can feel the pain in his words.


We can now officially raise a glass to Moody Bible for restoring the milk, lemonade, and cold beer trifecta. If you’re in the Chicago area make sure that Professor McDuffee and his colleagues have their cocktails paid for as we welcome them back to the drinking community with open arms.



Party Like it’s Prohibition

Our Stories / September 12, 2012 / 1 Comment.

HBO’s hit series Boardwalk Empire will premiere its third season on Sunday. The show takes place during the Prohibition Era in the United States, which naturally got us to thinking about a Prohibition classic: Moonshine.

We talked to a liquor storeowner who actually said that moonshine is having a resurgence and is flying off the shelves. This is not a booze to mess around with – moonshine can sometimes be as high as 190 proof, aka 95% alcohol. It’s gonna put some hair on your chest.

It’s been long associated with being illegal, but there are some totally legal moonshines on the market now that will knock your socks off. Since it can be kind of harsh on its own, we found a few recipes to make the moonshine go down a little smoother.

Apple Pie Moonshine
With fall only a couple weeks away, this recipe is perfect. You’ll need:
• 1 gallon of apple cider
• 1 gallon of apple juice
• 3 cups of white sugar
• 8 cinnamon sticks
• 1 liter bottle of moonshine

Here are the rest of the instructions from Moonshine Heritage.

Blueberry Moonshine Popsicles
Umm… wow. These are awesome. Thank you, Food Republic for sharing this dangerous snack with us. Visit the Food Republic site for the full instructions, but here’s the shopping list to get you started:
• 4 ¾ cups blueberries
• 2/3 cup simple syrup
• 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 1/3 cup moonshine

Or, if you’re feeling especially crazy one day and want to try and make your own moonshine, we posted a Make-Your-Moonshine tutorial last year that should do the trick.



Time Capsule: Thank you, Billy Carter

Our Stories / January 12, 2012 / No Comments.

The Carter presidency, for many, is remembered for many things: the hostage crisis, peanuts, little Amy. For those in our circles, Carter = beer, thanks to brother Billy’s influence on his older bro’s presidential priorities.


Let us explain.


The New Republic helps us put it this simply:


In short, prohibition led to the dismantling of the small brewery. When prohibition was lifted, government tightly regulated the market, and small-scale producers were essentially shut out of the beer market altogether. Regulations imposed at the time greatly benefited the large beer makers.


In 1979, Carter deregulated the beer industry, opening it back up to craft brewers. This had a really amazing effect on the beer industry:




Some claim that this peanut farmer was motivated by his own sales — peanuts, beer… get it? But we think he was doing something for “the rest of us,” like his brother Billy. Though Billy reportedly preferred Pabst Blue Ribbon, his big brother caught onto the importance of beer drinking (and making) as an important thread in the American story. It also created jobs. Without 1979, where would beer be today?



What Did Your Grandparents Drink During Prohibition?

Our Stories / October 31, 2011 / No Comments.

Prohibition did anything but dampen creative cocktail mixing.


My grandfather reminisced about something called a Grapefruit Nesbit. No one really knows what it was. It was that “hush-hush.”


If everyone’s grandfathers have undocumented recipes, too, there could be millions of homegrown concoctions out there just waiting to be rediscovered.


Today, we invite you to leave a family prohibition drink recipe in the comments section below. Don’t know the ingredients? Just tell us the name. Don’t know the name? Share the ingredients.


Here are a few from prohibitionrepeal.com that someone was wise enough to scribble down. Maybe they’ll jog a memory.


Mary Pickford
Along with her husband, Douglas Fairbanks, the golden-haired Mary Pickford was at the pinnacle of the first generation of movie royalty. This 1920s Cuban concoction does her honor.


Stir well with cracked ice:
1 1/2 oz white rum
1 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
1/2 teaspoon grenadine
Strain into chilled cocktail glass and drop in a maraschino cherry.


Barbary Coast
Only desperation would cause somebody to mix Scotch and gin, but Prohibition was a desperate time — and, surprisingly, the results aren’t half bad.


Shake well with cracked ice:
3/4 oz blended Scotch
3/4 oz gin
3/4 oz creme de cacao
3/4 oz heavy cream
Strain into chilled cocktail glass.


Colony Cocktail
New York’s Colony was no ordinary speakeasy. It was where Vanderbilts and Windsors went to dine in a civilized manner, and if that included a drink or two, then bartender Marco Hattem would provide one, no questions asked.


Shake well with cracked ice:
1 1/2 oz gin
3/4 oz grapefruit juice
2 tsp maraschino
Strain into chilled cocktail glass.



Prohibition. Ken Burns. Check it Out.

Our Stories / October 3, 2011 / No Comments.

PROHIBITION is a three-part, five-and-a-half-hour documentary film series directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick that tells the story of the rise, rule, and fall of the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the entire era it encompassed. It premieres on PBS October 2nd, 3rd and 4th at 8PM, but debuted last week on the iPhone and iPad to avoid competing with another TV series concerning prohibition: season two of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, reports the Hollywood Reporter.


“Prohibition was intended to improve, even to ennoble, the lives of all Americans, to protect individuals, families, and society at large from the devastating effects of alcohol abuse. But the enshrining of a faith-driven moral code in the Constitution paradoxically caused millions of Americans to rethink their definition of morality,” describes PBS.org.


We’ll be tuned in, drink in hand.