Tucked away between Thanksgiving and Christmas, there’s an under-appreciated holiday that we here at Capital Spice are all about celebrating: Repeal Day.
On December 5, 1933, the Twenty-First Amendment was ratified by Utah, at which point it had the necessary three-fourths majority of states’ approval and became law. With that, the Eighteenth Amendment was repealed and Prohibition came to an end after more than thirteen years.
Now, seventy-five years later, a movement is underway to bring attention to this red letter day in American history. Jeffrey Morgenthaler has been spearheading the effort, and here in DC he is being joined by the DC Craft Bartenders’ Guild.
What is the DC Craft Bartenders’ Guild, you ask, and what are they doing to celebrate Repeal Day? Find out after the jump.
As far as the DC mixology scene goes, the DC Craft Bartenders’ Guild are simultaneously the historians and the innovators. If you’ve had a really impressive cocktail in the District recently, it was probably concocted by one of their members. If you’re thrilled with the return of classics like the Sazerac, you can thank the members of the Guild. And if you were lucky enough to visit Hummingbird to Mars before a certain Washington Post columnist’s “check out how cool I am” reveal and the project’s untimely demise, you definitely have a good idea of what the Guild is all about. We were fortunate enough to experience Hummingbird on two separate occasions (both times honoring their request that bloggers not write about it), and it gave us a much better appreciation of what a well-crafted cocktail can really taste like.
If you’d like to find out for yourself, then you should make it a point to ‘party like it’s 1933’ with the Guild at their Repeal Day Ball on Friday, December 5th, from 8 to midnight at the City Tavern Club on M Street. Guild members including Gina Chersevani, Derek Brown, and Owen Thompson will be on hand mixing classic cocktails, and their offerings will be complemented by hors d’oeuvres and music from a ’30s-style jazz band. The goal is to recreate the joyful celebrations that greeted the repeal when it was announced.
The event isn’t cheap – tickets are $80 through today, after which they will go up to $90 – but the theme of the evening and the likelihood of a really good time suggest that it’s worth the splurge if you appreciate the craftsmanship that can go into something as deceptively simple as a cocktail.
Proceeds from the evening will benefit the Guild, the Museum of the American Cocktail and the City Tavern Club’s Preservation Fund. You can buy tickets online using Paypal by clicking on the link found on the DC Craft Bartenders’ Guild’s website.
As Repeal Day draws nearer, watch for us to offer a Top 5 list of local bars in which to celebrate your freedom to imbibe, should you decide that you just can’t do the Ball but you still want to raise a glass.