A lot can change in a century. And when it comes to drinking booze — everything did. Consider that 100 years ago, it wasn’t even legal to consume liquor. On Jan. 17, 1920, the dark days of Prohibition had just begun, forever altering not only what Americans drank, but where and how we drank it.
After Prohibition’s repeal on Dec. 5, 1933, the U.S. was happy enough to embrace boring and banal beer and spirits. “Craft” was not a part of the national conversation. After 13 years of sobriety, it seemed, the American people were clamoring for anything that could get the job done, swiftly and surely.
But this would only keep ‘em satisfied for so long. Steadily, drinking culture lumbered ahead with the help of Hollywood, a few prominent tastemakers, and a bunch more unsung heroes. In alternating turns, they imbued the scene with sleekness, sophistication, and ingenuity, ultimately restoring the sacred ritual of the sip to its vaunted pre-Prohibition heyday.
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Then suddenly, with the rebirth of classic cocktails at the onset of the 21st century, everything that was old was new again.
VinePair proudly presents here: The definitive illustrated timeline of American drinking trends.
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