Today is December 5th, Repeal Day. On this date in 1933 the 21st Amendment was ratified, putting an end to the 13 years of darkness and despair ushered in on January 16th, 1919, when Congress passed the 18th Amendment establishing Prohibition in the United States. The 18th Amendment along with the Volstead Act, which served to define prohibited intoxicating liquors, banned the manufacture, sale, and transportation of all intoxicating liquors within the United States and its territories. While prohibition did not ban the consumption of alcohol explicitly, it did make obtaining alcohol in a legal manner almost impossible.
To celebrate this momentous date in US history, I can think of nothing better than having a Japanese Cocktail. This recipe comes from Jerry Thomas' 1887 Bar Tenders Guide, and while it is a rather obscure cocktail, it is very simple and delicious. My individual opinion is that such a delectable beverage should never have fallen out of popularity, and deserves to be rescued from obscurity by cocktail enthusiasts.
The Japanese Cocktail
2 oz brandy or Cognac (I use Camus VS)
1/2 oz orgeat syrup (Fee Bros)
2-3 dashes of bitters (I use Fee Bros, but Angostura would work as well)
Shake in a shaker with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon, making sure to allow the lemon oils to fall onto the top of the drink while cutting the twist.
I've included Robert Hess' (aka Drink Boy) video on how to make The Japanese Cocktail, which also includes some information on how brandy, Cognac, and Armagnac is defined. I hope that watching it and reading this might inspire someone to try this amazing drink. Once you've had one, you will wonder how you lived a life without knowing such glorious goodness.
Cheers! ~Dr. Cocktation
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