Repeal Day, 2008

A few years ago Eugene, Oregon bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler decided America needed another holiday, a day to celebrate the ratification of the 21st Amendment.  This Amendment to our Constitution repealed the 18th Amendment, and along with it, federally mandated prohibition in America.

With that in mind, he created “Repeal Day“.

To quote from Jeffrey’s website:

On December 5th, 1933, Utah, the final state needed for a three quarters majority, ratified the 21st Amendment, repealing Prohibition and restoring the American right to a celebratory drink. While the amendment still allowed for state and local levels of Prohibition, by 1966 there were no state laws banning alcohol.

Jeff’s tireless efforts to promote this holiday, and drinking in general, is truly admirable. In fact, I think I may still have a hangover from the last time he blew through town.

But a bunch of people have asked, “What can I do to celebrate Repeal Day?”

The easiest way to celebrate is to simply have a drink and raise a toast to your freedom to celebrate.

Again, quoting Mr. Morgenthaler:

There are no outfits to buy, costumes to rent, rivers to dye green. Simply celebrate the day by stopping by your local bar, tavern, saloon, winery, distillery, or brewhouse and having a drink. Pick up a six-pack on your way home from work. Split a bottle of wine with a loved one. Buy a shot for a stranger. Just do it because you can.

Think of it like a variation on the Chinese Fortune Cookie Game.  Simply add “with booze” to any activity you already have planned.  Preferably not driving or operating heavy machinery.

In San Francisco, a number of bars are having special events which will allow you to add yourself to the booze:

21st Amendment Brewery: Celebrating all week with a plethora of events, including a Repeal Day Dinner Wednesday and a parade Friday afternoon with party following.  While you’re there, pick up a six pack of their Watermelon flavored wheat beer, Hell or High Watermelon.

Alembic Bar: On Friday night, Daniel Hyatt and Alembic’s chef are doing a special menu with food and cocktail pairings.

Bourbon & Branch: Friday they will be serving a special menu of prohibition era cocktails.

Elixir: Friday they are hosting a costume party and serving “period cocktails with associated pricing”.

Forbidden Island: Friday, they will be paying tribute to Cuba’s role in Prohibition era drinking by serving cocktails from that island.  Ask for a Mary Pickford, it’s a great cocktail.

John Walker & Co/Cantina: Friday downtown liquor store John Walker & Co is celebrating both their 75th Anniversary and the repeal of prohibition with a party at Cantina.  Hmm…  I imagine quite a number of bars and liquor stores might be celebrating their anniversaries on or near Dec 5!

NOPA: Friday NOPA will be featuring Genever Cocktails and opening the keg of their barrel select Redhead Rye.

Speakeasy Brewery: Speakeasy is holding, “a rousing, riveting and spine-tingling blowout hullabaloo,” at the brewery Friday from 4-8 PM.

SWIG: Friday DJs will spin prohibition era tunes and period cocktails will be featured.

If you know of any others, if you drop me a note I will add them to the list.

PS. Thanks to Super Duper Great Jane Tunks, who I have plagiarized ruthlessly.

Harrovian Cocktail

Harrovian Cocktail

1 Dash Angostura Bitters.
1 Teaspoonful Orange Juice. (1 teaspoon clementine juice)
1 Dash Lemon Juice. (1/3 teaspoon Lemon Juice)
1 Glass Dry Gin. (2 oz Plymouth Gin)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. (Orange Peel.)

“Harrovian” appears to be a term which refers to those who attend Harrow School and also the alumni of that organization. Harrow School is an English Boarding school for boys which, even now, hews very closely to tradition.

Another cocktail that falls outside of the bounds of those which have survived to the 21st Century. Basically, a bittered, citrusey, super-extra-dry Martini, this ain’t kid stuff. I have to say I warmed to it as I sipped.

Still having most of the juice of a clementine and half a lemon left over, I also tried making it with those and an ounce and a half of gin. Definitely preferred the austere restraint of the original over the fruitier variation.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.