Local Wine Co's Blog

Early Drinkers and Flappers (and what they’ve done for us today) by cdbakunas
May 11, 2011, 8:09 am
Filed under: Libations, Travel, Word on the Street | Tags: , , , ,

Did you know that women were not allowed in bars in the 19th century? Really? That seems like a serious flaw in the social fabric of attempting through swagger, humor or dumb luck to pick up girls at the local tavern. God bless the generation of our great, great grandfathers who persevered until we arrived at the age of Liberalism.The term “flappers” comes from the 1920’s during the Prohibition Era and connoted women who eschewed rigorous social standards and did crazy things like drink alcohol in bars (speakeasies) drove cars and wore shorter skirts. I guess if you have to look for something positive in the failed social experiment of American Prohibition, flappers should be at the top of your list. The dawning of the age of Liberalism is deeply entwined with our American history and the founding of this nation, the pursuit of liberty and equality, which takes social roots in women’s right to vote, right to drink and right to drive. John Locke, the earliest philosopher, political proponent of Liberalism, and a major influence on the founding fathers of America, said, “New opinions are always suspected and usually opposed without any other reason but because they are not already common. ”

America is and will always be a nation of invention, perseverance and leadership. Will we make mistakes? Of course. Will we have prohibition again? Absolutely not. And now that women drink with men (depuis circa 1920), America has exported the concept of cocktails to the world, craft distilleries are on the climb, and classic cocktails are du rigueur.

It was only a few years ago that a bar in middle town anywhere USA would have the same five beers, Bud, Bud Light, Corona, Heineken, Amstel and if you were lucky Sam Adams. Today it is nearly impossible and improbable that you will walk into the same sort of establishment, your local watering hole, neighborhood restaurant, liquor store (excluding the gas stations and 7-Elevens of the world) and not find it replete with micro brews from around the world.

As we experienced a tremendous downturn in our economy an interesting phenomenon occurred. The Federal and State governments were and are in a budget crisis, so what do they loosen up? The right to own permits to brew and distill. Today there are nearly 450 micro distilleries across this great nation. That’s a rocketing 300% growth in the last decade. And good for us the consumer. Our choices for distilled beverages is rapidly increasing and with the increased competition the quality of spirits across the board is getting better and better.  Now it’s our job as consumers to ask for more and interesting spirits. I’ll know the day that Main Street has beaten Wall Street when I can walk into an airport in Dallas, Texas or Raleigh, North Carolina and ask for a martinez cocktail, and they’ll not only have Old Tom gin, but they’ll know how to mix this elixir.

Drink well, and ask for the good stuff.


2 Comments so far
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Great article…I recently did a blog post on flappers, so I was surprised to see another one! My connection came from a fashion perspective, taking the influence from Coco Chanel as a starting point. http://thecongenialhour.tumblr.com/post/9975151679/in-1920-the-year-the-suffrage-amendment-became

One thing I’ve seen mentioned before is that Prohibition brought gender equality in drinking places. If speakeasies were illegal, how could they keep out women?? So that was that. Flappers may have been the origin of modern influence, but the influence of women in current cocktail culture is quite prevalent, I’d argue. Machismo aside, every man nowadays doesn’t drink like his father and grandfather — a few have been influenced by sweet, colorful, bubbly libations that they’ve seen their female counterparts order. I think sometimes that flappers would be ashamed to drink with some of these guys 🙂 Man up, indeed!

I’m also glad spirit offerings have improved. “Drink well, and ask for the good stuff” — it should only be so simple, right? How can you ask for the good stuff if it’s unavailable?? 🙂 Cheers!

Comment by Nikolas Xenophon (@thecongenialhr)

This kind of helped me hehehehehe

Comment by aLICIA

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