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Cocktail chronicle - Act III

Cocktail chronicle - Act III

At the start of the 20th century, right in the middle of prohibition, America was actually reinventing the future of the cocktail. As a perfect way of getting around prohibition laws, the art of blending became more widespread, and even concealed the taste of alcohol, which was banned by authorities at the time. With its added fruit juice, the cocktail became a drink of the alternative culture, a secret circle that lived outside the law.

A Time of Prohibition

Prohibition began in 1919, and lasted in the United States until 1933. Drummed as a law that aimed to restore a healthy and democratic society, the 18th amendment to the Constitution was voted in as a shield against alcoholism and drunkenness, both of which were viewed by nationalistic Americans as the vices of decadent European societies. The law prohibiting alcohol consumption was passed by all the states of the union, and quickly transformed into a social revolution. With the emergence of unofficial circuits, smuggling became rife. Secret distilleries sprang up, along with the rise of clandestine bars known as “Speakeasies”, which were patronized by crime barons. Alcohol was sold illicitly against a backdrop of submachine guns and rival gangs.