Today is the 83rd anniversary of the 21st Amendment, which repealed the 18th Amendment, which prohibited the sale of alcohol in the United States of America, land of the free and all that.
Progress, Protestantism, and Women’s Suffrage – ideologies which are all strongly influenced by Gnosticism and deeply opposed to the corporeal nature of man – were to blame for this horrible law.
The law put power in the hands of evil sociopathic gangsters like Al Capone and the Kennedy family. It made a mockery of institutions. It resulted in decent people flouting the law (my thoroughly decent great-grandparents were quite adept at making bathtub gin) turning America – not for the last time – into “a nation of hypocrites”. Though increasingly unpopular it stood for as long as it did thanks to the Baptist-Bootlegger coalition, a tacit alliance of hardcore teetotalers with the mafia, not unlike tobacco companies and anti-smoking groups working hand-in-hand to ban vaping today. On December 5th 1933 America came to its senses and repealed the 18th Amendment with the 21st.
So, how do you celebrate the 21st Amendment?
I celebrate with an Old Fashioned… no, Pervert… Not that kind of Old Fashioned, but with the alcoholic beverage which, as far as historians can tell, is the original cocktail: spirits, sugar, and a fruit garnish, usually a cherry and orange slice.
When making an Old Fashioned:
- Don’t get uptight about the whiskey, any bourbon or rye will do, the Old Fashioned is all about making cheap whiskey drinkable, don’t waste good booze on this. Just recall that the stronger or harsher the whiskey, the more it will need to be balanced with the other elements.
- Don’t use sugar, use a teaspoon of simple syrup. It takes about three minutes to make on the stovetop and it mixes much better. Just mix half sugar and half water in a pan, heat, and stir. Try brown sugar, it’s good. Thanks to Tupperware simple syrup keeps a long while in the fridge.
- To muddle or not to muddle? Some people like to muddle the fruit in the bottom of the glass. These people are assholes.
- Mix the simple syrup and bitters in the bottom of the glass. Give it a good sniff. Add ice and whiskey, sniff again. Then add an orange peel, twisting it first over the glass and rubbing it on the edge. Give it one last sniff.
- Every once in a while, try twisting the orange peel onto the glass over a Bic cigarette lighter. It changes the flavor.
- Stir it a bit, then add the cherry. The great thing about being a grown-up, is that you can have a cherry on top whenever you damn well feel like it. And while I have not had ice cream in years I still keep cherries on hand at all times in case I am in need of an Old Fashioned or Manhattan.
- If you are feeling very classy, run a fresh, pitted cherry and orange peel onto a toothpick and lay it across top of the drink. If you are like me and just medium classy, get a maraschino out of the fridge and plop it in. Top with soda if you are so inclined.
- Use a cool glass, as in stylish, not chilled. I like to use a vintage 1960s Jeanette Hellenic Grecian Wedgewood tumbler, because I own a set and they are cool.
- Turn on Frank Sinatra.
And there you have your Old Fashioned. Drink deeply, and think of the brave Italians who gave their lives, mowed down by wise-guys and G-men with tommy guns, so that you could enjoy your booze in peace.