[This post has been updated]
Dec. 5 will mark 79 years since Utah ratified the 21st Amendment, putting an end to the national experiment of Prohibition. What more reason could you need to raise a celebratory cocktail?
The D.C. Craft Bartenders Guild has been throwing a black-tie Repeal Day Ball since 2008, with swing-era music and cocktails crafted by local and nationally-known bartenders, including Dale DeGroff and Tad Carducci.
This year’s event will be held Dec. 8 at the historic Hill Center on Pennsylvania Avenue SE. Tickets are $100, including three hours of open bar, passed hors d’oeuvres and dancing. Confirmed guests include Jessica Maria from the Bay Area’s Hotsy Totsy Club, Naomi Schimek of the Spare Room in Los Angeles and “Modern Mixologist” author Tony Abou Gamin. A limited number of VIP tickets allow for hobnobbing with bartenders and guests at 8 p.m. — an hour earlier than the general public. The event sells out every year, so get tickets in advance.
Several other gatherings will compete for the attention of cocktail fans on Wednesday, Dec. 5:
• Jack Rose is hosting two separate Repeal Day events. The evening starts with a four course menu of Prohibition-era dishes, such as Lobster Thermidor, New England cod a la Crab Louis, and Waldorf salad, served from 5 to 10 p.m. (Reservations are required.)
Afterwards, the party spreads to the bar’s rooftop and its cozy basement lounge, which has yet to officially open to the public. The rooftop features unlimited champagne, cigars and classic cocktails, while the basement will welcome burlesque dancers while selling cocktails at Prohibition prices. Celebrations run from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tickets for the dinner and the party are $20 each — that’s $40 for both — and reservations can be made by calling 202-588-7388.
• At Firefly , bartender Jonathan Harris has put together a menu of 10 classic cocktails for $10, from the Daiquiri and Sidecar to the Volstead Cocktail and the 12 Mile Limit. (During Prohibition, the government’s jurisdiction extended 12 miles from the coast; beyond that, scofflaws were free to imbibe.)
• Last Exit , the Mount Pleasant cocktail den attached to Tonic, is hosting a free party with seasonal drink specials. Look out for the Tom and Jerry, a brandy drink similar to eggnog, and housemade gluhwein, or mulled wine.
• While most of the parties celebrating the end of Prohibition feature cocktails, 3 Stars is hosting a tap takeover at Iron Horse Tap Room. Six of the new brewery’s ales will be on tap, including the new Holiday Madness, with another on cask, beginning at 8:45 p.m.
• Seven Cleveland Park restaurants and bars — St. Arnold’s, Uptown Tap House, Dino, Nanny O’Brien’s, Atomic Billiards, Pulpo and Cleveland Park Bar and Grill — are teaming up for a night-long block party with drink and appetizer deals at each location, starting at 4 p.m.