28 October

Easy Speak image

The Volstead Act was passed this day

So we are drinking a...

Easy Speak

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On this day in 1919 the US Congress voted the Eighteenth Amendment, AKA the Volstead Act, AKA the National Prohibition Act, into law, following a bill designed by the Anti-Saloon League's famously fun-loving Wayne Wheeler.

As an experiment, Prohibition was a famous failure. The first documented breach of the new law occurred at 12.59am on 17 January 1920, under an hour after it had come into force, when armed men stole a hundred grand's worth of allegedly "medicinal" whiskey from a train. Things went, pretty much, downhill from there, launching the careers of such celebrated teetotalers as Al Capone and forcing drinks lovers with funds to relocate to Europe.

Today's cocktail, the Easy Speak remembers the Speakeasies that followed the enactment of the Volstead Act. Or you may prefer a Rum Runner, which recalls all those bootleggers who kept running liquor illegally into the country and across its state borders.

The full story of the Volstead Act and Prohibition in the U.S. by Anistatia Miller and Jared Brown.

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