Toasting the End of Prohibition

brown_nov13_cheers_post.jpg

Photo by gemma.amor/Flickr CC


For some people, the holidays signal one thing and one thing only: it's time to drink. Having to spend time with relatives is an instant cue to consume copious amounts of beer, wine, and nog. It's the seasonal equivalent to Pavlov's dogs. Me, I save only one holiday for drinking of that magnitude. That's Repeal Day, the second greatest holiday next to Christmas itself.

Each year on December 5th I celebrate the repeal of Prohibition in the United States, which happened in 1933. When that special day comes around each year I make an extra effort to exercise my God-given right to imbibe with gusto and finesse. I also honor flag and country, my profession, and all things congenial. Drink after drink, I toast the blessed country, the greatest profession on Earth, and all of my friends. In fact, toasting is an essential part of Repeal Day and a popular pastime prior to Prohibition.

This year there's a reason to become extra-patriotic--it's the 76th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition, which conjures up the old spirit of 1776.

I have toasts packed away like extra drawers on vacation and let them loose on that special day. Here's a particularly patriotic one:

The Frenchman loves his native wine;
The German loves his beer;
The Englishman loves his 'alf and 'alf,
Because it brings good cheer.
The Irishman loves his " whiskey straight,"
Because it gives him dizziness.
The American has no choice at all,
So he drinks the whole damn business.

This year there's a reason to become extra-patriotic, if the last toast didn't stir the red, white, and blue in you. It's the 76th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition, which conjures up the old spirit of 1776. Freedom lovers, this is your chance to celebrate the way our founding fathers did--with much wine, beer, and booze.

In Washington, D.C. we're holding the second annual Repeal Day Ball with some special guests, including bartending legend Dale DeGroff and Repeal Day founder Jeffrey Morgenthaler and, of course, with great food and drink. But if you can't make it, then gather some friends and head down to your local saloon, tavern, or beer hall and recite a toast or two. If you get stuck, just remember this little ditty:

I used to know a clever toast,
But now I cannot think it,
So fill your glass to anything,
And bless your souls, I'll drink it!

Presented by

Derek Brown is a writer, illustrator, bartender, and co-owner of acclaimed bars The Passenger and Columbia Room in Washington, D.C. He sits on the board of directors for the Museum of the American Cocktail. More

Derek Brown is a writer, illustrator, bartender, and co-owner of acclaimed bars The Passenger and Columbia Room in Washington, D.C. He travels throughout the country and around the world in search of great drinks, and the stories behind them. Derek's methodical approach to cocktails was profiled in the Wall Street Journal's "A Master of Mixological Science" and his martini lauded as the best in America by GQ. He's been in numerous media outlets featuring his approach to better drinking, including CNN, The Rachel Maddow Show and FOX. Derek is a founding member of the D.C. Craft Bartender's Guild and on the board of directors for the Museum of the American Cocktail.

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. Who cares about youth? James Hamblin turns to his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg for advice.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. James Hamblin turns to a colleague for advice.

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

More in Health

Just In