When national Prohibition went into effect in January 1920, it drove the alcohol industry largely underground. Distilled spirits were more profitable for bootleggers to produce than wine or beer, but the product was low-quality and tasted awful. Cocktails or mixed drinks soared in popularity because the mixers and sweeteners masked the flavor of bootleg booze.
When Prohibition ended in 1933, manufacturers were quick to fill the needs of consumers who’d acquired a taste for mixed drinks and luxury barware. This silver-plated penguin-shaped cocktail shaker was made by Napier, a silver jewelry company in Meriden that manufactured barware between the world wars. An ad in the New Yorker magazine in 1936 by Abercrombie & Fitch offered this shaker for $12.50.
This January, the CHS is celebrating the 100th anniversary of Prohibition with a party featuring live jazz music, dancing, and, of course, cocktails! Come dressed in your best 1920s style, and you might win a prize for best costume. No 1920s party is complete without dancing, but don’t worry if you don’t know how to do the Charleston – we’re partnering with Hartford Underground Vintage Dance Group to provide tutorials in how to cut a rug like a flapper. And Hartford Flavor Company will be on hand to offer tastings of their delicious locally-made liqueurs.
Drinks and snacks are included in the admission price. For more information or to buy tickets, click here.