Promoted by the “dry” crusaders, a movement led by rural Protestants and social Progressives, “Prohibition” in the United States was a nationwide constitutional ban on the sale, production, importation, and transportation of alcoholic beverages that remained in place from 1920 to 1933.
Now picture for a moment you travel back in time. It is 1930, New York City, during these days of prohibition. On a Saturday night, you and your friends are quite anxious but excited. Everyone has decided to ignore the law and find some forbidden alcoholic drinks. The only way to accomplish this evening is to visit a Speakeasy, an illegal bar. They are referred to as the Speakeasy due to the practice of speaking quietly about such a place in public, or when inside it, so as not to alert the police or neighbors.
Through word-of-mouth, rumors could be heard about the location of these hidden places that kept the leisure and nocturnal pleasures. Imagine an acquaintance secretly gives you an envelope with a mysterious clue. If you are sharp enough to guess the correct answer, you will be part of a secret community where clients themselves are responsible for inviting new friends to join the mystery…
It seems so long ago since those days of old. However, even to this day Buenos Aires boasts a wide variety of close-door bars that recreate the atmosphere and style of those old times. Since they are usually above, below, or behind something else that makes them less-than-easy to locate, we offer our travelers a different and unique experience: an expert bartender guides them through the city’s intriguing prohibition-style cocktail dens.
Our first stop is a bar which takes the concept of a Speakeasy and puts it into full gear. On a quiet street in Palermo Hollywood, the typical pedestrian would never notice it. There are two rites of passage that each customer must complete before entering the bar. First, they whisper a password to the doorman, which is the answer to the clue they previously received in an envelope. Once the door is opened, our guests enter a smaller room where there is a phone booth at the other end. The next step is to enter a secret code into the phone which opens a door and allows them to reach the bar. An impressive variety of drinks delights our travelers at this spot.
The second stop is a private social club which is not open to the public. It is a recently renovated house in the middle of Palermo Soho to accommodate for private events. Classy with a modern-design, this place also features a courtyard and a pool, which is used for special pool parties during the summer.
After this, they are guided to another neighborhood where they encounter a large wooden door with no sign, other than the street address and a doorman. Once our visitors are in, they will notice a large contrast between its run down entrance on a quiet street and its classy, upscale environment inside. It is time to enjoy some tasty food with their cocktails.
The evening goes by visiting different redoubts: small doors in discreet roads, colonial houses, taverns hidden behind a sushi bar or even a flower shop… each of them with its own magical secrets. Each of these destinations makes this journey worthy of memories.
A differentiating factor with respect to the traditional bar is the cocktail proposal. If anything could define these hideaways it would be the premium high-quality of these classic drinks. Our guide promptly recommends the specials of the house and shares tips and recipes to prepare the best combinations. To finalize this journey, our travelers take with them a cocktail booklet, filled with recipes from each of the destinations.