Pre-Prohibition was considered the "Golden Age of Cocktails." This is where the most famous drinks around the globe came from including the Martini, Daiquiri, and Manhattan. From the 1860's up until Prohibition, it was an exciting time for the cocktail world

Even before Prohibition was initiated, there was a long list of Americans that tried to push through the ban of all alcohol. WWI was a big influence in the acceptance of Prohibition arguing beer barley should be made into bread for soldiers and not wasted for the production of beer.

The biggest push that helped initiate the 18th Amendment came from the Anti Saloon League. They started out as a state organization in Ohio, and eventually became a national movement that pushed liquor production out of the US.

On January 16th 1920, the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution of Prohibition went into effect. Prohibition agents put on shows pouring any alcohol they seize right into the streets.

The 18th Amendment prohibits the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors. Although, no where in the Amendment does it include storing or consuming, so many people stockpiled liquor before the ratification of prohibition.

The prohibition of alcohol opened new doors for underground illegal business and the uprising of crime lords such as Al Capone in Chicago.

Al Capone was the leader of the infamous Chicago Outlet gang for seven years where his main business was illegal transportation of alcohol during prohibition which helped him earn over an astounding $100 million.

There were of course ways around the Amendment. Wine used for religious purposes skyrocketed, as well as the interest in becoming a rabbi or priest. Other ways around it was to sell legal "medicinal whiskey" prescribed from your doctor. This drew the attention of opening chains of pharmacies across America.

During the 1920's, Walgreens expanded from a mere 20 stores to over 500 with the help of prohibition. This was the launch start of the major chain that you see on just about every corner today.

In 1933, After 13 years of prohibition, the repeal of the 18th Amendment was officially ratified with the 21st Amendment allowing the flow of alcohol to flourish legally once again.

Because of prohibition, liquors such as whiskey were not regulated and potentially deadly batches of liquor were now being sold freely. Bottled in bond was just a label to guarantee government regulations were checked and practiced.

One of the main reasons for the repeal of the 18th Amendment was due to billions of dollars that state governments lost from alcohol tax.

Some states accepted the 18th Amendment differently, and others saw it as necessary. Not every state wanted the end of prohibition. Mississippi was the last state to end their state prohibition in 1966.

Currently the US rakes in almost 10 billion a year from taxes on alcohol. The US is not even in the top ten consuming countries in the world.


Andrews, E. (2015). 10 things you should know about prohibition. History. Retrieved from:

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History (2016). Prohibition ends. History. Retrieved from:

Statista (2016). Alcohol tax revenue in the United States from 2000 to 2021* (in billion U.S. dollars). Retrieved from:

Temperance and Prohibition. (nd). Anti Saloon League. Columbus, OH. USA. Retrieved from:

The Salt (2015). The golden age of cocktails: When Americans learned to love mixed drinks. Retrieved from:

Wild, C. (nd). 1919-1933 Destroying booze. Retrieved from:


Created with images by PublicDomainPictures - "bar liquor barman" • bogitw - "glass martini cocktail" • renaissancechambara - "Pharmacy sign in Soho" • ponce_photography - "wine splash glass"

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