Prohibition's End Celebrated at Repeal Day Festivities

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The 21st Amendment was ratified on dec. 5, 1933, driving a stake through Prohibition's heart.
"To alcohol! The cause of ― and solution to ― all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson

The modern cocktail revival comes with a near-fetishizing of the pre-Prohibition and Prohibition eras many outside the bar world assumed was simply a fad. Old-timey outfits, forgotten recipes, speakeasies ― bartenders can't seem to shake an obsession with cocktail culture's darkest hour, even as they reclaim the legitimacy the profession held before Jan. 16, 1920. That's the date Prohibition took hold, ending America's status as the cocktail world's capital.

Prohibition not only erased a chunk of our national culture by putting a large number of small local distilleries, wineries, and breweries out of business, but it also shifted the cocktail epicenter from the U.S. to other countries, as talented bartenders fled to locations more welcoming of their skills. It's no surprise, then, that Repeal Day ― the celebration of the ratification of the 21st Amendment, which ended Prohibition on Dec. 5, 1933 ― is a cause for rejoicing among bartenders. Here's a quick guide to Repeal Day events happening in S.F. on Sun., Dec. 5:

Repeal Day Holiday Party
When: 6-10 p.m.
Where: The Boothy Center, 1161 Mission (at Eighth St.)
Cost: $35; tickets online via Eventbrite
The skinny: The first full-blown party in the new Boothby Center, with snacks from Comstock Saloon and pre-Prohibition, Prohibition, and holiday cocktails.

Solerno Repeal Day Party

When: 9 p.m.-midnight
Where: The Burritt Room, 417 Stockton (at Sutter)
The skinny: Between 9 and 10 p.m. enjoy $0.77 glasses of Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur punch, and four $8 specialty cocktails all night.

21st Amendment's Repeal Day Party
When: 4 p.m
Where: 21st Amendment, 563 Second St (at Brannan)
The skinny: Get the party started early with five-cent beers. There's only one keg's worth and you need a password. The 21st A's Twitter feed is the place to get the scoop.

Heaven's Dog Repeal Day Specials
When: 4:30-9 p.m.
Where: Heaven's Dog, 1148 Mission (at Seventh St.)
The skinny: A great place to stop in if you're headed to the party across the street at the Boothby Center. Look for a special list of $6 cocktails served all-night.

Lou Bustamante tweets at @thevillagedrunk. Follow SFoodie at @sfoodie.

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