Repeal Day Ball

Posted on Jan 15, 2016


Repeal Day Ball

Every year the DC Craft Bartenders Guild hosts a Repeal Day Ball. We have to thank Wigle for letting us know about it, as it was hands down one of the best events we’ve ever been to. It was like the world’s largest candy store for cocktail connoisseurs. If you’re in D.C., stop whatever you’re doing right now and put this on your calendar for next year. If you’re not in D.C., stop whatever you’re doing right now and put this on your calendar.  Go, go now we tell you.

About the Ball

The Black Tie, twenties-themed event at the Historic Carnegie Library, featured dozens and dozens (and dozens…seriously we lost track) of handcrafted cocktails by DC’s and the nation’s best mixologists. Everywhere you turned there was another table, decorated to the brim, with a friendly mixologist shaking a drink. On the top floor, they recreated the world renowned Denver bar, Williams & Graham.  Visiting mixologists hailed from New York, California, Chicago, Baltimore, and Philadelphia.

Every drink we tried, we thought, “this one is our favorite,” until we tried the next drink. We especially liked the creation from Quill, the carrot drink from Hank’s, and the milk punch cocktail (guessing their recipe was fancier but we are now on a mission to find the perfect milk punk). It was served from a beautiful, massive vat by a mixologist who looked a 1970’s goddess, dressed head to tow in white doily inspired lace. Oh, and they had this sweet photographer and photo booth, which we used as our Christmas card. Again, this night couldn’t have gotten any better.

About Repeal Day

As we’ve learned this past year, any changes to the constitution are a big deal! Same with Repeal Day. On December 5, 1933, FDR announced the ratification of the 21st amendment, which repealed the 18th amendment (aka the prohibition amendment).

21st-amendment-fdr-proclamation

Some fun facts about prohibition and why people were so excited when it ended:

  • Prohibition led to a spike in homicides, widespread corruption, and alcohol poisonings.
  • However the real reason for ending it wasn’t the above; it was because “cash-strapped states needed money, and legalizing and taxing alcohol was a promising source of revenue.”
  • Consuming alcohol was never actually against the law during prohibition, but making it, importing it, and selling it was. Hmm. Some things about the law never change.
  • In the same way there is medical marijuana, there was also medical alcohol, and a resulting number of “diagnoses” which warranted its use. BUT what’s so interesting is that because it was illegal to import alcohol, these “prescriptions” were filled mainly by bourbon which had already been distilled. Thus, when prohibition ended there was hardly any bourbon left!
  • Blue laws, which are still absurdly present across the country even in liberal states such as Massachusetts, are a remaining element from Prohibition!
  • Home brewing and wine making didn’t become legal for another 40 years! And if you wanted to try to make some gin or vodka in the comfort of your own home–well you can’t.
  • And my personal favorite: “if you want to open up a commercial distillery today, you still must attest to the federal government that (a) you have the knowledge and skill to distill alcohol properly, and (b) you’ve never distilled alcohol before.”

All facts above from Huffington Post

Isn’t policy fascinating? And seriously again, go mark December 5, 2016 on your calendar and plan on making your way to next year’s Repeal Day Ball.





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