“When I sell liquor, it's bootlegging. When my patrons serve it on a silver tray on Lakeshore Drive, it's hospitality.” - Al Capone
Today is National Bootlegger’s Day, held annually on the birthday of perhaps the most legendary of them all, Al Capone. The term “bootlegger” originates from drinkers discreetly hiding a liquor flask in their boot tops, a custom that had a huge surge in popularity in the 1920s during the Prohibition era in America, when alcohol sales and production were constitutionally banned. The term eventually applied to all who sold alcohol at this time in history, everyone from backyard moonshiners to black market purveyors like Capone. In 1933, after thirteen years of bootleggers running rampant, the Prohibition era ended in America, and folks were finally able to enjoy a cold mug of beer again.