Every January, after perhaps one too many glasses of eggnog, roughly one in seven Americans swears off the hard stuff for a month. Nowadays, giving your liver a break (or not) is no big deal, but the temperance movement in the 19th and early 20th centuries was the cause of riots and social upheaval.
American teetotalers torched many of the nation’s apple orchards in an effort to stamp out hard cider, while their Victorian counterparts across the pond forced the closure of a number of England’s pubs. Although Prohibition successfully lowered alcohol consumption in the United States, plenty of Americans still found ways to get soused, thanks to a considerable supply of bathtub gin provided by the bootleg business that grew in defiance of the ban.
While there are plenty of odes to Prohibition-era speakeasies—not to mention a number of actual clandestine drinking establishments from the period that have endured—remnants of the temperance movement are harder to track down. Those willing to look, however, will find a booze-free British pub that’s been serving top-notch cordials and tonics since 1890, as well as a number of extremely curious monuments designed to drive onlookers away from the temptations of liquor.
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