Today marks the 75th Anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition, so expect to see the city's bars packed with rowdy drunks tonight...kinda like every Friday. Only tonight, it's debauchery with an eye on history! For on this day in 1933, the 21st amendment to repeal prohibition was ratified by Utah, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, achieving the three-fourths of states necessary to ratify Constitutional amendments proposed by Congress. Try remembering this fun fact tonight in the sodden haze: The 21st amendment is the only time a Constitutional amendment has repealed another amendment! True story.
The Daily News talked to some bartenders and alkies about today's significance. 35-year-old Daria Dennhardt from the Bronx said she can't wait to squeeze into The Back Room for the "classic cocktails," adding, "Thank God it's still legal." Can't you just smell it on her breath when you read that? As a side note, have fun tomorrow with this website that calculates the calories in how much you imbibed, then shows you the (shocking) the equivalent in food. [Via Grub Street]
The city's current classic cocktail craze is directly linked to the Prohibition era, when mixed drinks became fashionable as a way of diluting the intensity of illegal liquor. Death & Co bartender Brian Miller points out that "Prohibition-era drinks are really where a lot of the classic cocktails come from: the Sazerac, the Old Fashioned, the martini, the Manhattan." NYC alone had 30,000 speakeasies during the era, according to the News.
But unless you make a group reservation or get there right when the doors open tonight, you might as well forget about getting into any of the trendy cocktail dens like PDT, Pegu Club, Little Branch, The Randolph and Employees Only, to name just a few. (These days you can't projectile vomit without hitting a classic cocktail lounge.) If you're really on a mission for old-timey tippling tonight, you might fare better in Brooklyn; Williamsburg's Hotel Delmano will be packed by 10, but Huckleberry Bar might be manageable, and Clover Club and The Jake Walk in Carroll Gardens are worth a shot. Just get there early...like why not now?