A quick page through the history books …
Friday, 17 January 2020 marked a hundred years since the Volstead Act (also known as the Eighteenth Amendment) went into effect, launching the United States into 13 years of Prohibition.
After the Eighteenth Amendment became law, the United States embraced bootlegging. In just the first six months of 1920 alone, the federal government opened 7291 cases for Volstead Act violations. In just the first complete fiscal year of 1921, the number of cases violating the Volstead Act jumped to 29114 violations and would rise dramatically over the next thirteen years. By 1925, there were anywhere from 30000 to 100000 speakeasy clubs in New York City alone.
Molly’s Speakeasy Village Restaurant is a playful hint at the secrecy and perhaps even a bit of mischief of the 1920’s and early 1930’s when speakeasies sprung up in private homes, cellars, lofts and backrooms – anywhere where black or white, male or female, could get together and enjoy a tipple and avoid being caught! Hence, the word ‘speak easy’ or ‘keep it quiet’.
Grape juice was not restricted by Prohibition, even though if it was allowed to sit for sixty days it would ferment and turn to wine with a twelve percent alcohol content. Many folks took advantage of this as grape juice output quadrupled during the Prohibition era. To prevent bootleggers from using industrial ethyl alcohol to produce illegal beverages, the federal government ordered the poisoning of industrial alcohols. In response, bootleggers hired chemists who successfully renatured the alcohol to make it drinkable. New York City medical examiners prominently opposed these policies because of the danger to human life. As many as 10 000 people died from drinking denatured alcohol before Prohibition ended.
We promise you our cocktails are unadulterated and simply delicious!
Now with a century in Americans’ collective rear view mirrors, all pretty much admit that the so-called Noble Experiment was an absolute failure. The teetotallers of the Womens’ Temperance Union who predicted a better society, instead encountered crime, corruption and even more consumption of alcohol *.
* The content of this section was extracted from various sources and are those of the various authors and not necessarily reflect those of Molly’s Speakeasy (Pty)Ltd, or its employees.
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the end of Prohibition, Molly’s Speakeasy wishes to take you on a trip to those bygone days with an authentic range of Prohibition-era cocktails