Prohibition's Hangover

The early 20th century was a boom time for the American drinks industry. Prohibition wrecked all of that, severely damaging American’s collective knowledge and experience of drinking.

A less-discussed legacy of Prohibition is its dumbing down of the American palate. The early 20th century was a boom time for the American drinks industry. Many states had vineyards. Distilleries were making more and better liquor than ever before. Breweries produced beers for local markets everywhere. With huge numbers of diverse, newly arrived immigrants came new traditions of drink. So it was that in many cities the sufferer of digestive discomfort could visit the local apothecary and walk out with a bottle of the bitter Italian digestif Fernet-Branca.

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Surprising Science
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Photo: Shutterstock
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Red human heart against a yellow background (Getty Images)
Surprising Science
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