Posted by: Matt Browner Hamlin | December 5, 2010

Happy Repeal Day!

prohibition repealed

Painting by Laurie Olinder

The painting above is by a friend of my family, Laurie Olinder.

Happy Repeal Day! On December 5th, 1933, Utah became the final state needed to ratify the 21st Amendment, which repealed the odious 18th Amendment. The Amendment reads:

The 21st Amendment
Ratified December 5, 1933

Section 1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

Section 2. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use there in of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.

Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

Last night I went to the 3rd annual Repeal Day Ball by the DC Craft Bartenders Guild. As in years past, it maintained its status as The Best Party of the Year. In addition to local luminaries Adam Bernbach, Gina Chersevani, Chantal Tsang, Derek Brown, Dan Searing, Rachel Sergi, and Owen Thomson (to name a few), bartenders from around the country came to serve drinks. Dale DeGroff, Jeff Beachbum Berry, Dave Wondrich, and Jeffrey Morgenthaler all were behind the stick, while Ed Hamilton, Misty Kalkofen and Simon Ford enjoyed their peers fine work. Rick from KaiserPenguin.com was back again and I also got to meet Gabe from CocktailNerd.com for the first time.

I’m not going to go into the many drinks served simply because there were too many to mention. Gina and Owen did some really mind blowing molecular gastronomy-type “cocktails” – some were big hits but others were just a bit too crazy for my tastes. I’d never ordered a Cosmopolitan in my life, but figured Dale DeGroff was the guy I wanted to make it for me. DeGroff didn’t disappoint and it was actually a pretty incredible drink (though I can’t believe I’m writing this). Morgenthaler made another drink which I normally do not like at all, but his Egg Nog was sublime. One of the simplest drinks was also one of my favorites – Rachel Sergi’s Dewars, bitters, and Fentiman’s Lemonade highball.

The point that I have to emphasize is this: you must go to the Repeal Day Ball. If you live in DC, you have no excuse. If you don’t live in DC, you should plan a weekend here to come to the ball. There is no excuse – it’s too much fun for you not to go. So I’ll see you next year, then, won’t I?

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