December 5 is as good as any other day to use for an excuse to drink. But today imbibing becomes your duty as an American because it is Repeal Day, or the day in 1933 when drinking alcohol became a constitutional right.
No doubt many parties will be thrown in every corner of the country on this day, but in this pocket they call Miami the Mighty on Coral Way is celebrating by offering 81-cent punch cocktails to honor 81 years of alcoholic freedom.
In case you don't know or forgot, let's get into a brief history of the ban on alcohol in America, otherwise known as Prohibition.
The consumption of alcohol as a recreational substance was a highly controversial issue in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many groups pushed their elected representatives to ban the manufacture and mere possession of alcoholic drinks.
Eventually, Congress introduced the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, which was eventually ratified in early 1918 and carried out by the Volstead Act later that year -- despite President Woodrow Wilson's veto. America was a dry country for over 13 years.
But the law had an unintended effect: out-of-control organized crime. Gangsters such as Al Capone, AKA Scarface, made it their business to push liquor and beer to millions of thirsty people from Canada to Florida, doing whatever it took to make it happen, including murder. The failure of Prohibition was realized and Congress passed the 21st Amendment, which was ratified on December 5, 1933.
But back to the Mighty's 81-cent punch. There is a catch to this special, and one catch only: supplies are limited. Owner Ryan Brooks tells Short Order that only 81 cocktails will be available. The punch was mixed an a gigantic bowl and will be served in four-ounce pours.
The punch is similar to a mint julep, or the bourbon whiskey-based cocktail with a sprig of mint leaves that is traditionally enjoyed while watching the Kentucky Derby. Except rhe Mighty's punch is mixed with a raspberry and blackberry pureé and some lemons and limes.
Brooks considered using vodka, since the white liquor mixes well with punch, but it just wouldn't cut it. Plus, the Mighty is known for its fine selection of whiskeys.
"Vodka's great but we're a whiskey bar," Brooks said. "We can't suddenly switch to vodka."
The Repeal Day special starts at 7 p.m. when the regular happy hour ends and goes until the punch runs out. Consider it lagniappe or something extra. The Mighty's normal daily happy hour runs from Wednesday to Monday at 5 to 7 p.m. and that gets you $2 off all draft beer, well liquor, wine, and "stiff drinks."
If you miss out, there is still a fancy line-up of great food and drink. Specializing in craft beer, top-shelf whiskey and sausages made from scratch, Brooks uprooted himself from San Francisco and came to Miami and established the Mighty earlier this year amid South Florida's craft beer craze.