Lunch Lady, Give Me a Scotch!

October 2, 1927
Bell

To twenty-first century eyes, the headlines make it sound like a retro-ironic hipster bar for postmodern cocktail sippers: "Liquor ‘Cafeteria’ Found. Raiders Say Drinks Made to Order in Bell House." Anybody feel a spree coming on?

Well, before you round up the gang and head on over, there’s one thing you should know about the house raided under the direction of Chief George Contreras this weekend: the top-shelf booze it poured was fake. That’s right, the "’Scotch’ whiskies of aristocratic highland brands, ‘fine old Kentucky Bourbons,’ ‘Gordon’ gin and other rare liquors of ancient lineage" were mixed up in the back room out of cut alcohol and glycerin—as the customer waited, no less.

Dry raiders found a complete bottling plant on the premises as well as printing plant where labels mimicking those of famous brands were created. Fifty gallons of the alcohol used as a base were secreted underground in the yard.