Enough to spend $75 an ounce? Eden Bar has the once-forbidden juice
Back in 1916, as Prohibition was about to become the law of the land, a group of men had a hunch that the the government-imposed dry spell wouldn’t last forever. Prohibition, they figured, would be repealed and the booze would start flowing as soon as the order was reversed.
All booze, that is, except bourbon.
Bourbon, they realized, was the only distilled American liquor that required aging. So when Prohibition was eventually repealed, years would pass before a new batch of bourbon would hit the liquor stores.
So this group of far-sighted men bought up as much bourbon as they could, had it reclassified as medicine, put the oak casks in warehouses, and waited.
One of the investors in the American Medicinal Spirits Company was Ernest Tiedtke, grandfather of Enzian Theater owner Phillip Tiedtke. And when the happy day finally came in 1933, Ernest was paid a dividend of several cases of the only bourbon in the world.
Phillip Tiedtke still has some left. And he’s offering one-ounce shots of it at the new Eden Bar, the outdoor restaurant and lounge attached to the Maitland movie theater.
But this special booze doesn’t come cheap. One ounce of Special Old Reserve is being offered at $75.
But that’s not the most expensive drink at the bar, which opens officially Saturday, Oct. 18. Tiedtke also has bottle of Cuban Bacardi rum that was given as a wedding gift to his parents in 1948. An ounce of the pre-Castro era nectar fetches $250. No extra charge for the Coca Cola.
Tiedtke showed me these special bottles, which are kept in a refrigerator with a heavy chain padlocked around it, when I stopped in for a preview of Eden the other night. (I asked him how much he’d charge just for a whiff of the rum, but he wouldn’t let me.)
I’ll tell you more about Eden in a post tomorrow.