For many, Las Vegas is synonymous with alcohol overindulgence. But for 13 years, Las Vegas was dry. With the stroke of a pen in 1919, the 18th Amendment to the Constitution prohibited the sale and manufacture of alcohol. Between 1920 and 1933, the centuries-old customs were illegal.
Throughout Prohibition, Las Vegas revelers took to speakeasies to wet their whistles with giggle water. Bars were accessed by secret entrances that required secret passwords. And alcohol was brewed and distilled clandestinely, often with whatever was on hand.
83 years ago, on Dec. 5 of 1933, Prohibition was repealed under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. And the country was free to imbibe once again.
And the best way to celebrate the anniversary of Prohibition’s repeal in Las Vegas? Have a drink!
Here are four places you can celebrate Repeal Day:
Repeal’s Eve at Atomic Liquors; 917 Fremont St
Atomic Liquors is hosting their 4th-annual speakeasy party on Sunday starting at 8 p.m. The outside of the bar will be entirely boarded up to appear closed, but inside they’ll be partying like it’s 1933. To get in, you’ll need the password. We won’t spoil it, but you can find it on their Facebook event page. Bartenders will be serving up cocktails inspired by the Prohibition era and guests are encouraged to dress the part.
Franklin at Delano Las Vegas; 3940 Las Vegas Blvd S
The Franklin bar inside the Delano hotel is hosting a Repeal Day speakeasy celebration on Sunday starting at 6 p.m. According to their Facebook post, dress to the nines in 1930s style for free entrance and drinks.
Las Vegas Distillery Bar; 7350 Eastgate Rd, Ste 110
It may not be a proper ’30s-themed speakeasy, but what better way to celebrate the end of Prohibition than with the opening of a new bar? Las Vegas Distillery is hosting a grand opening of the Las Vegas Distillery Bar at 5 p.m. on Friday. They’re offering cocktail competitions, live music, tastings and a barrel rolling challenge.
The Mob Museum; 300 Stewart Avenue
The Mob Museum will be hosting a series of events Dec. 1 through Dec. 5 in recognition of Repeal Day. Take part in the downtown Cocktail Crawl Thursday through Sunday by picking up a map at the Museum. It will direct you to a Cocktail Crawl bar including Atomic Liquors, Freedom Beat at Downtown Grand, Triple George, Oscar’s Steakhouse, Parlour Bar at El Cortez, Pizza Rock and Velveteen Rabbit. Each Cocktail Crawl bar will offer a prohibition-inspired cocktail for $5 each.
On Saturday, the Mob Museum is hosting a lecture in which four speakers will talk about various aspects of Prohibition-era history in the Museum’s courtroom. Topics will include how Christians, female activists and concerned physicians joined forces to initiate Prohibition and the way in which Prohibition transformed hoodlums into millionaire crime bosses. Throughout the afternoon, mixologists from Glazier’s Wine & Spirits will demonstrate the making of Prohibition-era cocktails. Limited samples will be made available.
The Palm Las Vegas; The Forum Shops at Caesars, 3500 Las Vegas Blvd S
The first Palm restaurant opened in 1926, smack in the middle of Prohibition. Their Prohibition Buzz Cocktail parallels a drink that would have been popular in that era. The cocktail made with Cutty Prohibition Whiskey is garnished with a cinnamon stick and tastes satisfyingly salty and sweet. The drink is $14.99 but you can get it for $9.99 on Monday for Repeal Day.
Contact Janna Karel at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @jannainprogress on Twitter.