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On Dec. 5, 1933, just 10 months after Congress proposed it, enough states had finally ratified the 21st Amendment so that America could, once and for all, repeal Prohibition and end the country’s long Noble Nightmare Experiment.

I’m not sure if it’s residual relief, or just another excuse to party, that continues to fuel our fascination with Repeal Day, but 76 years later, we still celebrate that day when Americans could, once again, get shitfaced without breaking the law.

Parties are scheduled across the land tomorrow, including the black-tie Repeal Day Ball at PS 7’s, hosted by the D.C. Craft Bartenders Guild.  The ball will feature cocktails from the area’s best mixologists as well as food by chef Peter Smith, ’30s-era music by the Red Hot Rhythm Chiefs, and special guests including bartending legend Dale Degroff. General admission tickets are $100 each; VIP tickets are $150. You can buy them here.

Y&H put the question to Derek Brown, the proud owner of a new watering hole and one of the prime movers behind the Craft Bartenders Guild: Why continue to celebrate Repeal Day so long after the fact?

His response via G-chat:

“Because, as [brother] Tom Brown says, without alcohol I wouldn’t have a job, hobby or friends.”

Fair enough, but I still think we ought to celebrate the 22nd Amendment instead, which may have prevented us from suffering another four years under a former drunk. That’s an amendment whose impact feels much more immediate.

But back to the point: The Craft Bartenders Guild party isn’t the only one around. Urbana off Dupont Circle is also celebrating Repeal Day with both drink specials  and chef Alex Bollinger‘s $33 prix-fixe menu. A press release offers more details:

An actual bathtub bar that will serve the Urbana Gin Fizz, available for $8. All of Urbana’s classic cocktails will also be available for $8, including:

  • Classic Martini: ketel one or belvedere vodka, noilly prat dry vermouth, shaken or stirred
  • Chapala: partida blanco, lillet blanc, orange juice, housemade grenadine, fresh lemon
  • Sazerac: woodford reserve, lucid absinthe, peychaud’s and angostura bitters, simple syrup
  • Dark and Stormy: gosling’s black seal rum, ten cane rum, ginger beer, fresh lemon
  • Bensonhurst: maker’s mark, noilly prat dry vermouth, maraschino, cynar
  • Bebbo: plymouth gin, honey, fresh lemon, orange juice

The first Urbana Gin Fizz or classic cocktail purchased by guests in 1920’s attire will be 25 cents. All drinks thereafter will be available for $8.

Music from the ‘roaring 20’s’ will be enjoyed throughout the evening.

Urbana Facebook fans can use a prohibition-era password (only available from the Facebook fan page) to receive an additional gift from the house. The Urbana Facebook fan page can be accessed at: www.facebook.com/urbana

$33 three-course tasting menu featuring items from Chef Bollinger’s late fall/early winter menu, with a selection of appetizer, entrée and dessert.

Photo by Sarah Deer via Flickr Creative Commons, Attribution License