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Prohibition Libations Collection
Prohibition in the United States was a measure designed to reduce drinking by eliminating the businesses that manufactured, distributed, and sold alcoholic beverages. The Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution took away license to do business from the sellers of alcoholic beverages. The prohibition leaders believed that once license to do business was removed, Americans would stop drinking.
Sacramental wine was still permitted for religious purposes and drug stores were allowed to sell “medicinal whiskey” to treat everything from toothaches to the flu. With a physician’s prescription, “patients” could legally buy a pint of hard liquor every ten days. This “medicine” often came with doctor’s orders such as “Take three ounces every hour for stimulant until stimulated.”
Many speakeasies eventually operated under the mask of being pharmacies,; soon, these legitimate “drug stores” were created. According to Prohibition historian Daniel Okrent, windfalls from legal alcohol sales helped the drug store chain Walgreens grow from around 20 locations to more than 500 during the 1920s.
Busch refitted their breweries to make ice cream, while Coors produced pottery and ceramics. Others produced “near beer”—legal brew that contained less than 0.5 percent alcohol. The lion’s share of brewers kept in business by selling malt syrup. Winemakers followed a similar route by selling chunks of grape concentrate called “wine after”. Franklin D. Roosevelt easily won the Presential Election in 1932 when he appealed Prohibition. It was dead a year later; in New Orleans, the decision was honored with 20 minutes of celebratory cannon fire. Roosevelt supposedly marked the occasion by downing a dirty martini.