Party Like it's 1933
December 5 marks the 83rd anniversary of the repeal of the 18th amendment, aka the end of Prohibition. I imagine there were some great parties that day in 1933, because let's face it, alcohol didn't go away just because you weren't legally allowed to drink. All those hidden casks, barrels and bottles came out, and speakeasies sold aboveboard for the first time in years. Now the only real reason to celebrate repeal day is an excuse to drink, especially when it happens to fall on a Monday like this year. If you're in the mood to celebrate, here are some spots you can find like-minded friends.
On Saturday, Dec. 3, the party starts at 5pm. Wear your best 1920s or 1930s outfit—think flapper dresses and double-breasted suits—or not, I'm sure it won't matter. Live music starts at 8pm. Get a raffle ticket for each drink purchase. Drink specials include your first round of Templeton Rye shots for 83 cents, $5 per shot thereafter, and $6 mixers.
The Iron Horse's annual Prohibition party is also on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 7pm. Show up in your party best—and era appropriate attire—for a chance to win prizes. Burlesque dancers start performing at 8pm and continue throughout the night. Music by DJ E.Rich. As for drink specials, you can't really beat theirs: 5-cent tap beers. They're first come first served until the keg runs out, so get there early.
Great Lakes celebrates repeal day each year the only way they know how: by distilling. Each year, they produce one barrel of rye whiskey. Five years later, that barrel is tapped and sold only on December 5. The whiskey is made from a mash of 92 percent rye and 8 percent malted barley and bottled in flask-type bottles. There will be less than 500 bottles available, and they will be hand numbered. Grab your bottle of Repeal Reserve Rye on Monday starting at 6pm until they're sold out. Special cocktails will be available in the bar.
This party on December 5, sponsored by Old Forester Bourbon, is a competition for local bartenders. Eleven bartenders will be making their best old fashioneds, and then the crowd gets to sample them and vote for their favorite. Participating bartenders include some well-known names: Paul Kennedy, Steven Hawthorne and Joe Elmergreen. The first 100 people there at 6pm will receive a ticket for a free barrel-aged old fashioned and a taco from Gypsy Taco, located in Boone's backyard. A cash bar will also be available.
If you feel like celebrating but without all the fuss, repeal day seems like the best time to check out any of our favorite speakeasies. Sometimes you don't need a party, you just need a good, stiff Manhattan.