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Bar Drinks Banned The Dark, Adventurous Times of Speakeasies

Unveiling the Mystique of Speakeasies Cover

For nearly a decade-and-a-half (1920-33) during the Roaring Twenties, the sale and consumption of alcohol was banned in the US. Yes, you heard it right! This period was popularly called The Prohibition. Put in place to curb the problem of alcoholism in society; it’s debatable how much of an impact the Prohibition made in reducing alcohol consumption. 

However, booze lovers of the time didn’t have to sink into a great depression of their own; speakeasies erupted throughout the country to provide them with what they craved most: alcohol and popular cocktails. The catch is they were illegal. However, they became so popular that they became a cultural icon, a bejewelled memory of an America of those times.

Let’s sit in our time machines and raise our glasses as we enter the speakeasy doors. 

Understanding Speakeasies Cocktail Bars

Coveted Entrances; Mixed Crowds; Passionate Bar Drinks

Secrets and Hidden Entrances
Speakeasies could be located anywhere from fancy bars to apartment buildings. They, however, operated clandestinely and had shady entrances to prevent raids. Some even required several door taps or other passcodes to gain entry. A few operated in the name of some other business.

What’s interesting to note is that speakeasies provided a carnivalesque place where people from all classes, races, and sexes enjoyed bar drinks together. Reminded of the popular poem, “Faiths divide; bars unite”?

An Iconic Atmosphere

Speakeasy Culture and Atmosphere
Speakeasies featured ornate bar decor with large dance floors, live jazz music (a characteristic of the times), and sometimes even lavish costumes. They served various bar drinks, including mocktails and the best cocktails. They became a social institution for people to recreate. Men and women often met there for romantic reasons.

In a popular speakeasy, you would find everyone from day workers to criminals.

A little notorious 
Not everything was great about speakeasies. They were often associated with criminal acts. Their owners often bribed policemen, and many sold adulterated liquor. Many speakeasy owners were even members of organised crime.

Traditional Bar Decor At Speakeasies Today

Finding and Experiencing a Speakeasy
Many liquor bars worldwide purposefully recreate the adventure-laden atmosphere and traditional bar decor of speakeasies today. Rife with the most nostalgic cultural elements of the Roaring Twenties, you can enjoy an original speakeasy-like experience at many places. From hidden entrances to passcodes, you can experience all things speakeasy, even now, without owning a time machine.

These modern speakeasies frequently hold parties and gatherings. Many speakeasies are functional in America even today. You would also find many modern speakeasies in India that recreate the aura of these vintage bars. Go, relax and enjoy all those popular cocktails uniquely.

With the end of Prohibition and the legalisation of alcohol with the ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment, the popularity and existence of speakeasies dwindled. However, speakeasies are back in popular culture, ready to serve you the best cocktails and a fun-filled time. 

After all, the desire for adventure and the thirst for good beer are timeless. Check out The Bar’s collection of tips, tricks, blogs and insights on mixology.