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Celebrating the Anniversary of the Repeal of Prohibition


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#1 lancastermike

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 05:38 PM

At 5:32 PM the state if Utah voted to repeal the 18th Amendment. I propose a toast to the state of Utah. Were there any cocktails invented to celebrate the ocassion? Never heard of one called the "Repeal".
If not maybe we could suggest our own cocktail to celebrate the anniversary of repeal.

#2 fou de Bassan

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 05:39 PM

Thank you Utah!
Can we add irony to the mix?
If only Jack Nicholson could have narrated my dinner, it would have been perfect.

#3 M.X.Hassett

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 05:41 PM

Three cheers for repeal.
I recall that whiskey and brandy fell off for a little while after the repeal due to not having an "aged" supply.
Matthew Xavier Hassett aka "M.X.Hassett"

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#4 ScorchedPalate

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 05:58 PM

How about the Scoff Law cocktail? :)

Oooh, I got it: Beehive
(Utah being the Beehive State...)

Edited by ScorchedPalate, 05 December 2005 - 06:23 PM.

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#5 KatieLoeb

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 07:10 PM

The creation of American blended whiskey is a direct result of the repeal of Prohibition. While those who wished to legislate morality thought the 18th Amendment would turn us into a nation of tee-totaling churchgoing folk, the biggest disaster in social legislation turned this country into a nation of speakeasies, organized criminals, corruption and warehouses filled with bootleg hooch while legitimate distilleries and wineries had government placed padlocks on the doors.

Meanwhile, an enterprising Canadian distillery executive named Samuel Bronfman who worked for a company called Seagram's Ltd, saw the end of Prohibition both as inevitable and as a great market opportunity. He started producing and stockpiling Canadian blended whiskey between 1928 and 1933. When repeal finally came about, he was ready with boatloads (literally) of mature high quality whiskey for the US market before the padlocks had been cut off the doors and the US stills cranked up again. Since Canadian and Scotch whiskeys were both blended products, Mr. Bronfman's next brainstorm was to produce a blended American whiskey by blending straight American bourbon or whiskey with a neutral grain spirit or light whiskey. Blended American whiskey is now a significant share of the US whiskey market, and Mr. Bronfman's heirs are no doubt living well as a result of his savvy forethought. Seagram's Ltd. stockholders are probably pretty pleased too.

So perhaps a cocktail with American Blended whiskey would be an appropriate tipple to celebrate the day? A Seven & Seven perhaps?

Referenced from The Complete Book of Spirits: A Guide to Their History, Production and Enjoyment by Anthony Dias Blue.

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#6 Pan

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 07:29 PM

Weren't Bronfman & Co. also bootleggers who smuggled alcohol across the Great Lakes and such?

#7 KatieLoeb

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 08:01 PM

Weren't Bronfman & Co. also bootleggers who smuggled alcohol across the Great Lakes and such?

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:blink:

I dunno. That wasn't in the reference book I had available to me. Somehow it wouldn't surprise me though.

Sounds to me like Bronfman was a pretty smart upper level exec that was trying his best to position his brand for max benefit after repeal. I have no doubt as well that much Seagram's Ltd. product made it across the Great Lakes under cover of night and ended up in speakeasies in the midwestern states that border the lakes. I'm sure lots of product "disappeared" during Prohibition, particularly when there was so much of it stockpiled at the distilleries in Canada. I'm sure the corruption and crime bred by Prohibition wasn't exclusively on these shores either.

I'd be interested to see if anyone knows anything more about this.

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#8 mrbigjas

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 09:48 PM

i'm celebrating the end of prohibition with a rye* manhattan. isn't it the generally accepted theory that prohibition killed off rye as a whiskey? i wonder why it never came back. it's damn good booze.


*wild turkey rye

#9 KatieLoeb

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 10:54 PM

i'm celebrating the end of prohibition with a rye* manhattan.  isn't it the generally accepted theory that prohibition killed off rye as a whiskey?  i wonder why it never came back.  it's damn good booze.


*wild turkey rye

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I agree it's damned fine booze. But not necessarily killed it off. But the true rye (true rye whiskey = anything made with a minimum of 51% rye grain in the mash) producers had the same problem as everyone else that had been shut down for years. Nothing aged and ready to go to market. The mellower flavors of blended American whiskey gave most drinkers the flavor of straight bourbon or rye without the harshness associated with it. Think about it. Someone that normally drinks Seagram's 7 would be horrified and probably spit out a mouthful of Old Overholt or Basil Hayden. It'd be a waste from our perspective, but it would probably singe the hairs out of their delicate noses and cause much coughing and gagging.

I'm sipping a glass of Buffalo Trace on ice. Mmmmmmm....

Here's to the repeal of the 18th Amendment!! Cheers!

Katie M. Loeb
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#10 slkinsey

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 11:04 PM

i'm celebrating the end of prohibition with a rye* manhattan.  isn't it the generally accepted theory that prohibition killed off rye as a whiskey?  i wonder why it never came back.  it's damn good booze.

Never came back?! Haven't you heard? Rye whiskey is the new vodka!
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#11 lancastermike

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 06:42 AM

I had an Old Overholt on the rocks with just a splash of spring water.

Rye is the new vodka? Wow, Sam what will they be doing to it. Rye Cosmos? Yuck!

It does seem funny that Utah was the place to make the final vote for repeal.

Also, on the day of repeal President Roosevelt called urged that the "saloon" still be banned. Guess that did not work either.

Edited by lancastermike, 06 December 2005 - 11:30 AM.


#12 jsolomon

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 06:43 AM

Spiked hot chocolate (Frangelico in homemade hot chocolate) to warm me up from the 10F snowstorm outside.

Yay sanity!
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#13 mrbigjas

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 09:59 AM

i'm celebrating the end of prohibition with a rye* manhattan.  isn't it the generally accepted theory that prohibition killed off rye as a whiskey?  i wonder why it never came back.  it's damn good booze.

Never came back?! Haven't you heard? Rye whiskey is the new vodka!

View Post



ha! yeah, i keep hearing that, but i can still name most every brand off the top of my head, and i can't get a bottle of rittenhouse here in philadelphia, where the frickin rittenhouses were from (or in the three stops i made in DC, for that matter).

it's an outrage, i tell ya--i live five blocks from rittenhouse square and i'm drinking wild turkey like a schlub!

#14 KOK

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 10:51 AM

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ha! yeah, i keep hearing that, but i can still name most every brand off the top of my head, and i can't get a bottle of rittenhouse here in philadelphia, where the frickin rittenhouses were from (or in the three stops i made in DC, for that matter).
it's an outrage, i tell ya--i live five blocks from rittenhouse square and i'm drinking wild turkey like a schlub!

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Did any of the places in D.C. have Pikesville Rye? I've never had Rittenhouse (or Wild Turkey Rye for that matter) but I think Pikesville is very good and at $8.50 a bottle, a great value too. Of course my ghastly palate may not be picking up that Pikesville is rot-gut, but I like Knob Creek and Eagle Rare quite a bit, and I don't think Pikesville (though not bourbon) is too far below.

Thanks,

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#15 mrbigjas

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 03:46 PM

i didn't see anything but the occasional bottle of jim beam and this bottle of wild turkey that i picked up.

but i didn't exactly go to the great stores--i was driving up connecticut so i went to circle, chevy chase and magruders. i didn't get a chance to stop at calvert-woodley, and i wasn't downtown either.

tonight as a continuation of prohibition being repealed AND my half-birthday, i am going to drink a big ol' margarita.

#16 lostmyshape

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Posted 09 December 2005 - 02:21 PM

i'm guessing that good ole' sam is speaking with a bit of irony. at PA liquor stores you're lucky to find 4 types of rye, but there are about 15 shelves full of vodka. it's a shame, too. wasn't rye traditionally made in PA, on the Monongahela River? i think it may have even been called Pennsylvania whiskey (correct me if i'm wrong, historians). none made here now.

i keep thinking it would be cool to start a distillery here in Pittsburgh (on the Mon, like days of old) that specializes in Rye. that's a tough business to start, though, isn't it?

#17 rich

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Posted 09 December 2005 - 02:45 PM

Hey, let's not forget one of the biggest winner's of the Prohibtion era was the Kennedy Family. Then when it was repealed they still received $1 for every bottle of White Label sold (through the old Chicago Mart) - and that money eventually purchased a presidency (re: Illinois). See what a bottle of Scotch can do to your mind and body.
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#18 KatieLoeb

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Posted 09 December 2005 - 03:08 PM

i'm guessing that good ole' sam is speaking with a bit of irony.  at PA liquor stores you're lucky to find 4 types of rye, but there are about 15 shelves full of vodka.  it's a shame, too.  wasn't rye traditionally made in PA, on the Monongahela River?  i think it may have even been called Pennsylvania whiskey (correct me if i'm wrong, historians).  none made here now.

i keep thinking it would be cool to start a distillery here in Pittsburgh (on the Mon, like days of old) that specializes in Rye.  that's a tough business to start, though, isn't it?

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Quite right. A quick search of the PLCB website shows two rye (Jim Beam and Old Overholt) that are listed products and readily available, two rye (Michter's 10 yr. old and Sazerac 18 yr. old) that are listed as having "limited distribution" and one rye (Hirsch 13 yr. old) that is available by SLO. That's it. That's all the rye in the entire state of PA. Pretty sad state of affairs, I'd say. I wish we had a better selection available (is anyone listening...Posted Image)

Although that Hirsch is freakin' delicious, I must say. Used to have it at the bar at Striped Bass. Always made me happy when I saw a Hirsch rye had been sold on the weekly sales report. And this was before it was even supposedly fashionable.

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#19 mrbigjas

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Posted 09 December 2005 - 09:46 PM

i'm guessing that good ole' sam is speaking with a bit of irony.  at PA liquor stores you're lucky to find 4 types of rye, but there are about 15 shelves full of vodka.  it's a shame, too.  wasn't rye traditionally made in PA, on the Monongahela River?  i think it may have even been called Pennsylvania whiskey (correct me if i'm wrong, historians).  none made here now.

i keep thinking it would be cool to start a distillery here in Pittsburgh (on the Mon, like days of old) that specializes in Rye.  that's a tough business to start, though, isn't it?

View Post



i know he was kidding around; the truth is i just wanted to say 'drinkin wild turkey rye like a schlub!'

because it's a damn fine whiskey, after all, and there ain't nothin wrong with a WT rye perfect manhattan, which has been a staple around here since last week, when i bought a bottle.

#20 Kent Wang

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 10:35 PM

Repeal Day -- is there a better name for this? -- will be upon us soon. Time to plan some parties.

Some more info about the history of repeal.

http://en.wikipedia....d_States#Repeal

Despite the efforts of Heber J. Grant and the Mormon Church, a Utah convention helped ratify the 21st Amendment [4]. While Utah can be considered the deciding 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment and make it law, the day Utah passed the Amendment both Pennsylvania and Ohio passed it as well. All 38 states that decided to hold conventions passed the Amendment, while only 36 states were needed (three fourths of the 48 that existed). So, even if Utah hadn't passed it, it would have become law.



#21 KatieLoeb

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 11:54 PM

I want to throw a Repeal Day Happy Hour at my bar next Wednesday December 5. Are there any special cocktails or bar snacks that might be appropriate or historically accurate for the occasion? Or should we just discount the drinks and say "have a drink just because you can"?

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#22 Peter Green

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 02:49 AM

It'd be kind of fun to do a special on moonshine, but there may be some legal issues with that.

#23 handmc

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 06:45 AM

A gin drink (you figure out the mix) called the "out of the bathtub". served with a small rubber ducky flaoting on top!

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#24 lancastermike

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 08:39 AM

Hey Katie,

As we discussed on another topic I think Repeal day cocktails should feature good ol’ American whisky, either rye or bourbon or perhaps Applejack another real American spirit.
Those that remember their history know that the Whisky Rebellion that Geo.Washington was sent to quash was over apple spirits.

Unless you have the chance to whip up a batch of bathtub gin in the back room to make
The kind of cocktails they drank during prohibition.

I usually just have a nice rye Manhatthan. Nothing fancy, but prohibition almost killed off real whisky. I’m glad it is still with us

#25 KatieLoeb

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 02:55 PM

In recognition and celebration of our inalienable right to distill, distribute and purchase spirits, our Repeal Day Party will be selling American spirits (Bourbon, Rye, Whiskey and Applejack) all night for $5 neat or mixed and $6 up. Should be a rockin' celebration. I'll get pictures if I can.

If anyone has any ideas for good easy cocktails featuring American spirits (other than the obvious Manhattans or Blank-and-soda) let me know. I'd love to feature those too.

Katie M. Loeb
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#26 andiesenji

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 03:33 PM

Rock & Rye and Sazeracs ?

My uncles (at least the ones born in Kentucky) all favored rye whiskey instead of bourbon, which now I think was rather odd. But then, my family were all rather odd in one way or another.

a bit of info on American rye whiskey.

The mint julep is probably one of the most iconic bourbon drinks in Kentucky but somewhere there is a story about a drink that originated in Cincinatti that draws heavily on bourbon lore. I'll have to look it up - I think it is actually an Ohio river boat story.

Check this site for a bourbon slushy there is also a hot-buttered bourbon recipe that I have seen on another website but a Google search doesn't pick it up. I think that might be popular on a chilly December evening.

Edited by andiesenji, 29 November 2007 - 03:41 PM.

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#27 eje

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 03:50 PM

The Jack Rose and Ward 8 are both pretty quintessential rustic American drinks.

From Wondrich's new book, "Imbibe!" the Prince of Wales, with its combination of Champagne and Rye Whiskey sounds awfully tasty, and downright celebratory. It would be pretty easy to make the rye and bitters portion of the drink, chill it, and then just pour and top up with champagne.
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#28 TBoner

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 05:11 PM

Prince of Wales sounds a bit like a Seelbach: bourbon, Cointreau, champagne, and 7 dashes each of Peychaud's and Angostura. I don't have the book to see ratios on PoW, but the basic formula sounds similar. The Seelbach has become a favorite of mine lately, though I don't know that the Cointreau and Champagne are particularly appropriate for Repeal Day. It's just a damn good drink.

I agree that rye is a fantastic choice for Repeal Day, in just about any context. Personally, I plan to sip at a bit of straight unaged corn whiskey, too.

Those of you in New York are fortunate to have access to Hudson Baby Bourbon and Rye, which at their young ages (and from pot stills) may give some indication of what much whiskey tasted like before and during the first few years after Prohibition (discounting those distilleries that set aside whiskey for aging throughout the decade). Young whiskey can be a wonderful thing, and is at the very least a taste of history, given that at one time 10 or 12 year old American whiskey was unheard of, and much whiskey was bottled as soon as it was legal and/or drinkable. My friends on whiskey forums have had encouraging things to say about these bottlings. I am very jealous.

Edited by TBoner, 01 December 2007 - 05:20 PM.

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#29 KatieLoeb

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 11:37 AM

Happy Repeal Day everyone! I'm looking forward to mixing a lot of drinks tonight.... :biggrin:

Katie M. Loeb
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Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
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#30 lancastermike

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 11:48 AM

Happy Repeal Day everyone!  I'm looking forward to mixing a lot of drinks tonight.... :biggrin:

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I will enjoy my repeal day rye at home. Don't sell all the liquor tonight, Katie. We will be in Saturday night

Happy Repeal Day to all. Hooray for the state of Utah