Sunday, April 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Repeal Day parties across the country

If you don’t drink alcohol, December 5 is just another day, twenty 24-hour periods away from Christmas. But, if you occasionally let a little liquor touch those lips, this is a day on which to be thankful.

On December 5, 1933, the 21st Amendment repealed Prohibition. Even more so than New Year’s Eve, “Repeal Day” should be celebrated with Champagne, good beer, spirits-laden punches, fizzes, sours and all sorts of whiskey, gin, rum, brandy, and other stuff. (All of that responsibly, of course.)

So, get your best 1920s attire ready. There’s a Repeal Day party near you.

Chicago – 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

In the northern suburbs of Chicago, The Tavern Libertyville is showcasing the city’s very own North Shore Distillery. The classic American steakhouse has a speakeasy feel, so it’s the perfect place to get in your 1920s garb and check out the special cocktails: Aviation (with North Shore’s Distiller’s Gin No. 11), Corpse Reviver No. 2 (with North Shore’s Distiller’s Gin No. 6), a riff on the Old Fashioned with North Shore’s Aquavit Private Reserve, and a French 75 variation with North Shore’s Sol Chamomile Citrus Vodka.

Washington, D.C. – 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Jack Rose Dining Saloon continues to win me over with its festive atmosphere. Jack Rose will offer Prohibition-era cocktails, historic whiskeys on draft, cigar specials, and burlesque performers in their Whiskey Cellar speakeasy. Let’s just hope a congressman doesn’t get carried away with the burlesque women.

Las Vegas – 5:30 p.m. to well, are there clocks in Vegas?

Can you imagine Las Vegas without the Repeal of Prohibition? There wouldn’t be four-foot-tall margarita cups, beer hats, and $5,000 nightclub bottle costs. Fortunately, for Vegas, booze is legal and The Mob Museum is celebrating its mobster heritage with a cocktail soiree for “classy dames and stand-up fellas.” At the VIP Speakeasy Party ($65 per ticket), there will be dancers—of course, there are dancers!—complimentary beers, cocktails, and access to the museum. The celebration concludes with a “Boss of the Bars” competition, where bartenders compete for The Mod Museum’s Repeal Day Cup, and a Roaring ’20s costume contest. To make reservations for The Mob Museum’s Repeal Day events, call (702) 229-2734 or visit http://themobmuseum.org/archives/category/events/.

Dallas – after work hours

Apparently, Dallas consumers don’t like spending money on beverages. For Repeal Day, Victor Tango is offering 80-cent cocktails, while Whiskey Cake is serving five-cent cocktails.

New York  all day

Let’s face it, all bars in New York are probably doing something. A certain percentage of New Yorkers will dress up like it’s the 1920s on a regular Thursday, but when you make it a holiday, well, everybody’s doing it. Le Colonial recommends ladies wear flapper dresses and men wear three-piece suits with a fedora, long cigarette holder, and suspenders for its celebration that includes a DJ playing  classic ’20s tunes. The New York Distilling Company is celebrating Repeal with $2 martinis at The Shanty. Pouring Ribbons is having a “Best Dressed Competition,” with the winner earning a night of cocktails for four. The Dead Rabbit is featuring $1 oysters and celebrating Absinthe cocktails. Yes, Absinthe is legal.

Los Angeles – whenever the doors open

Like New York, Los Angeles has a laundry list of places offering Repeal Day parties, but there’s one that stands out and is promoting a good cause. In Glendale, Neat is bringing you a barbecue food truck and burlesque dancers. (Because there’s nothing like watching half-naked women while you spill barbecue sauce on your shirt.) If you bring a toy ($10 value or more) for the Toys for Tots tree, you get a free Old Fashioned or Batch 19 pre-Prohibition-style beer.

The select rest:

Boise, Idaho – The best place to get a drink is the Modern Hotel & Bar.

DenverThe Green Russell is bringing in the Minor Note Orchestra and making George Dickel cocktails.

LouisvilleThe Monkey Wrench is celebrating with $1 Miller High Lifes and $4 whiskey cocktail classics. Fancy attire not required.

Milwaukee42 Lounge encourages feathers and fedoras for its Repeal Celebration.

San FranciscoBluxome Street Winery Repeal party includes tastings of pre-release wines, specialty ‘Hounds Cocktails,’ hors d’oeuvres and live 1920s music by The Cottontails.

Seattle – I’m told every day is Repeal Day at Canon, but for December 5, they’re dusting off some 1930s era Haig & Haig Scotch and discounting it by more than 300 percent. For only $99, you can enjoy a shot of extremely rare whisky.

Fred Minnick
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