Columbus has so many wonderful locations to get your cultural fix, but one of the most interesting may be the Ohio History Center. This massive structure is a great place for families, friends, and couples alike to visit, whether it be for a class trip, a summer outing, or a booze- fueled learning experience. I was fortunate enough to attend the latter most recently, by checking out the Pleasures of the Cup Speakeasy event held outdoors at the Ohio Village. This celebration of history and cocktails will please both scholars and alcohol-lovers.
The evening began with a brief introduction into the history of Prohibition, and then the group was divided into smaller parties. A guide then leads you to different locations around the village. At each of the 7 stops on the tour, you interact with characters dressed in flapper garb, who tell you a little about the making of their particular hooch, or a tidbit about bootlegging. For example, I learned that moonshine gets its name from the fact that it had to be made by the light of the moon during Prohibition.
Love a Curio-style 1930’s cocktail? This is definitely the affair for you! At the beginning of the tour, you will receive a collectible mini Mason jar for all your samples, as you will imbibe in a Prohibition cocktail at every location. The sole exception to this is the Temperance Movement house, where you will receive root beer, and be warned about the dangers of drinking. Get chased out of a secret jazz club by the constable, then partake in a “medicinal” brandy concoction by handing the local apothecary your prescription for alcohol. Learn how juniper can tame the harshest spirits, and sip sherry in a brothel. Don’t worry about trying to remember the ingredients for all the drinks; you get to take home recipe cards for each, so that you can capture some of the speakeasy magic in your own kitchen. I can’t wait to try to recreate my favorite, the whiskey fizz!
At the end of the night, everyone joins together for snacks, and the leftover cocktails are available for further sipping. The production team also had Big Band music playing, and were teaching guests how to perform “The Charleston,” the era’s most popular dance. Laughter, liquor, and learning? Count me in for next time!
Want to attend one of the other Pleasures of the Cup events? Learn more by using the Columbus Culinary Connection calendar here. The two remaining events for the year sound equally entertaining. The first, Mad for Martinis, is a 1950’s celebration, while the December event, Drinks of the 19th Century, is an ode to Dickens and tavern fare.