Repeal Day

Happy Repeal Day, everyone — I suppose.  It’s nice to be trusted to make one’s own decisions about at least one or two drugs.  It must be acknowledged that the repeal of prohibition was the final nail in the coffin of pre-prohibitioin mixology.  No bartenders had been trained in the old, apprenticeship-style for the better part of 15 years when prohibition was repealed.  Countless restaurants, hotels and saloons wanted bartenders immediately to capitalize on the spectre of alcohol-fueled profit.  Tens of thousands of unexperienced, tradition-lacking bartenders (maybe more than 100,000) being hired from one day to the next in December of 1933 was the moment that the old American mixology died.  It was replaced that day with the call-them-all-cocktails-and-list-them-alphabetically phenomenon to be memorized by amateurs, many of whom undoubtedly thought they were only tending bar until the better thing they were hoping for came to fruition.  Welcome to modern American bar-tending.  I don’t celebrate this day, really.  The day that the plug is finally pulled on a brain-dead loved-one, allowing life to get back to ‘normal’ for everyone else is not really a time to celebrate.

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