But between colonial revelry and late-night bottle service there was a sad, contentious time, a time when the grand Noble Experiment turned good intentions of temperance into back door alcoholism and inter-state bootlegging. Starting in 1920, for 13 ill-fated years, ladies and gents had to smuggle their booze and wear the shame of discovery like a bad hangover (or a few months in the slammer). That is, until Dec. 5, 1933, 85 years ago, when the 21st Amendment was ratified, repealing the buzzkill 18th Amendment and returning distilled goods into the hands of hardworking Americans.
To celebrate Repeal Day, we asked some area cocktail aficionados around town what they would drink in the days of yore, and what they're shaking up for 2018. Here's what they had to say:
Edmund's Oast beer buyer, educator, Advanced Cicerone, Pocket Liquor podcast host
- Jonathan Boncek file photo
- Brandon Plyler helped run Charleston Beer Exchange before it morphed into Edmund's Oast Exchange
Related Brandon Plyler and Jayce McConnell talk booze on their new Pocket Liquor podcast: Omni-imbibious
Gin Joint owner
1933: "I'd be sipping on some whiskey just because America went without it for so many years" (Bolt says he remembers seeing photos of people taking axes to barrels of whiskey during Prohibition).
Today: "As a fun nod today I would drink a Sazerac or Manhattan." Bolt says classic cocktails are a huge part of what they do at Gin Joint, and he finds it only appropriate to drink a cocktail today that remains an icon in drinking culture.
Gin Joint general manager
1933 and Today: "As for me, I'd be partial to a daiquiri to celebrate! Whether in Charleston or traveling, a classic daiquiri has always stuck out to me as a staple in drinking culture since even before Prohibition. I mean come on, even Ernest Hemingway drank them. I can't imagine they ever went out of style."
...and especially on today: "Funny enough, we're launching a new menu on Repeal Day. It will feature favorites from our fall menu, a selection of holiday classics like the beloved Gin Joint egg nog, and a peppering of new creations, like a $5 house pour in our bone marrow for a shot luge."
Spectator Hotel food and beverage director
- Courtesy The Spectator