While many Americans are in the middle of "dry January," January 17 once marked the beginning of a dry 13 years – For all Americans – a century ago.
The 18th Amendment entered into force on January 17, 1920 and prohibited the "manufacture, sale or transport of intoxicating liquors." And the impact of Prohibition was felt everywhere, from small towns to populated cities.
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Tim Grimes, the main ambassador of the Templeton Rye Distillery in Iowa, is very aware of the effects that the Ban had on the country and why it was so controversial for whiskey drinkers, in particular, when it came into effect.
"Whiskey was the spirit that everyone liked and drank," Grimes said. “It was cheap to manufacture and also cheap to buy. The other reason why it was so widespread was because the whiskey had a great medicinal follow-up, that is, millions of barrels annually went to it, so the use was enormous. When you have a use on a product like that, that's great. The country was divided. "
Grimes explained that the Temperance Movement, which sought to ban alcohol, was dividing the country before the Ban. Factions of the movement, such as the Anti-Saloon League and the Union of Christian Temperance Women, wanted to crush the distribution, production and everything related to alcohol. The controversy eventually led to the 18th Amendment and the Volstead Act, the latter being the law that provided the application of the 18th Amendment.
"The 18th Amendment and the Volstead Law marked the beginning of an era of widespread rebellion and crime," Grimes said. "There was still a great demand for alcohol, but there was no supply."
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Grimes said some Americans responded to the call for illegal hooch, including a group that only sought to maintain their lifestyle in the midst of the agricultural crisis in Iowa.
"All the farmers in the Templeton area … nobody lost their farms when everyone else across the country did it," Grimes said. "It's because everyone cooked whiskey and everyone found a way to earn money and put food on their family's table."
While Templeton's rebellion did not arise from the gangster attitude that most people associate with the Prohibition, the loss of tax money and the rapid rise in crime, they eventually ended the Prohibition.
"The Temperance Movement did not count on the loss of income for the country," Grimes said. “Think about it: state, local and federal taxes were applied to distilleries and it was a great money generator. Now you have a country that is about to enter the Great Depression. "
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The ban also offered gangsters like Al Capone another lucrative way to earn income through smuggling, which only contributed to the crime.
"When you had a clandestine bar, if you're going to break the law of whiskey sales, you could also throw everything away and keep making that dollar fast," Grimes said. “That is what was happening, and the crime spread during the 20s and 30s due to the ban. It is what finally made the country support wanting to abolish it. ”
Amendment 21 was finally approved and ratified in 1933, effectively ending the National Prohibition. The country celebrated accordingly.
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For more information on the Ban, see the full interview above with Tim Grimes, the Chief Ambassador of the Templeton Rye Distillery. And to help you prepare for your own celebrations, try the following cocktail ideas, courtesy of Templeton Rye and Taconic Distillery.
The Templeton Manhattan
- 2 ounces of Templeton Rye 4 years
- 3/4 ounces sweet vermouth
- 2 aromatic bitter dashes
- Cherry, to decorate
Fill a shaker halfway with ice, add the ingredients and stir until it is very cold and diluted. Decorate with a cherry. Serve in a coupe glass.
Explosion of winter berries
- 2 ounces of Taconic Bourbon
- 2 ounces cranberry juice
- Splashes of maple syrup (about 1 teaspoon)
- mineral water
- Fresh blueberries
Mix the first three ingredients in a shaker with ice. Strain into a low glass with fresh ice cubes. Add some water with mineral water and garnish with fresh blueberries.
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The Templeton Old Fashioned
- 2 ounces Templeton Rye 6 years old
- 2 to 3 bitter dashes
- 1 teaspoon of sugar or 1 cube of sugar
- Orange and / or cocktail cherry, like Luxardo, to decorate
Combine whiskey, bitter and sugar in a mixing glass. Add several large ice cubes and stir quickly with a bar spoon to cool. Strain into a low glass with fresh ice. Garnish, if desired, with a slice of orange and / or a cherry.
Orange cherry crush
- 2 ounces taconic rye whiskey
- 1 1/2 ounces of fresh orange juice
- 1 ounce cherry liqueur (Luxardo, preferably)
- 1 ounce sweet vermouth
Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a glass of cold cocktail and decorate with orange and cherry.
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Emily DeCiccio is a reporter and video producer for Fox News Digital Originals. Tweet her @EmilyDeCiccio