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Prohibition Is So Over: Bars to Celebrate the 21st Amendment’s Anniversary

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition.

December 5 falls on a Friday this year. It also marks the 75th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition. We feel these are two terrific reasons to head out and celebrate the 21st Amendment by having a drink—or two or three—because, you know, you can! Here’s a roundup of Washington bars hosting specials for the festively thirsty.

Happy hour will be extended from 5 to 8 PM at Mio, with specials on popular Prohibition-era cocktails such as a gin rickey, brandy Alexander, and French 75 ($6 each). The kitchen will also serve up special American fare, such as house-made hot dogs topped with macaroni and cheese ($7) and French fries served with house-made cheese curds and gravy ($9).

During Prohibition, Americans (illegally) consumed a healthy amount of beer and whiskey, so Hudson Restaurant and Lounge in DC’s Dupont Circle will offer half-price whiskey and American domestic brews from 5 to 7:30.

The DC Craft Bartenders’ Guild invites you to “party like it’s 1933” and toast Repeal Day at Georgetown’s exclusive City Tavern Club for an evening of hors d’oeuvres, 1930s jazz, dancing, and specialty cocktails prepared by top international and local mixologists, including EatBar’s crafty Gina Chersevani. Dress is sophisticated cocktail attire, and tickets are $90; 8 PM to midnight. Get tickets here.

Restaurant 3, whose bar is a restored relic from 1909, will pay homage to Prohibition’s anniversary with decorations (think fun signage) and specials on classic throwbacks such as Manhattans, martinis, and a fun twist on a sidecar ($10 each) from 5 to 7 PM.

At Todd Thrasher’s PX, Old Town’s 1920s-styled speakeasy, about nine cocktails will be Prohibition-esque options. Expect gin-heavy creations such as Thrasher’s real martini with gin and sweet vermouth, and the Prohibition, which is essentially a lot of gin; $11 each.

PS7’s in DC’s Penn Quarter will celebrate with three classic cocktails for $7 during happy hour. Popular in the 1880s in New Orleans, the Ramos Gin Fizz offers a hearty gin cocktail shaken with egg white, orange-flower water, lemon and lime juice, and heavy cream, served in a Collins glass and topped with soda water. A second drink, called Martinez (think of it as the grandfather to the martini), is an electrifying mix of gin, sweet vermouth, orange bitters, and maraschino liqueur. Another New Orleans favorite, the Sazerac—a potent mix of whiskey, bitters, and absinthe—is available from the regular menu.

Nearby, Indebleu offers a similar array of celebratory drinks. During happy hour (5 to 9 PM) in both the dining room and the lounge, guests can enjoy all beers for $4 and house wines for $8, in addition to a few one-night-only cocktail creations. The Amendment XXI ($10) is a welcoming blend of Bombay Sapphire gin with blue curaçao and sour mix; the Vanilla Cherry Cola ($7) is a nostalgic concoction of house-infused Sunbaked Vanilla rum and muddled cherries, topped off with a bit of cola. In the Prohibition Punch ($9), Jack Daniel’s whiskey is sweetened with strawberries, lime, and sugar, then topped off with a foam of New Castle Brown Ale.

Repeal Day special prices are also plentiful at the posh martini spot Skye Lounge in downtown DC. Bud Light and Miller Light are $3, glasses of Champagne and rail drinks $6, and house wine $8. A few cocktails will be discounted to $8, including the Blue Skye Martini, Partida Margarita, and Classic Mojito.

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