We’re of the opinion that modern day mob history aficionados should take a page from the Corleone family, and follow the wise guys west to Vegas—but not for the casinos.
The National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement in las Vegas, also known as the Mob Museum, is a trek through several of the most fascinating chapters in American History. You’ll see exhibits on organized crime, the federal officials that combat it, and more, with hundreds of artifacts and first-hand accounts.
But The Underground, the museum’s immersive Prohibition exhibit, takes the experience immersive. Head down to the basement exhibit to experience true stories of bootleggers during the 1920s, from authentic vintage outfits to the rise of the jazz band. We suggest you linger among the flappers, and taste what’s coming off their custom-made copper pot still.
The 60-gallon still (named “Virginia Still” after mobster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel’s girlfriend Virginia Hill) makes around 250 jars of 100 percent corn moonshine per week. The Underground also brews their own craft beer, so of course, this Prohibition exhibit wouldn’t be complete without a speakeasy.
The Underground Speakeasy serves the house-made moonshine and beer, as well as craft cocktails with a Prohibition theme. There’s the the euphemistic “Giggle Water,” as well as “Remember the Lizzie D,” named for a shipwrecked gangster’s vessel that sunk with hundreds of gallons of booze on board.
Our favorite? The Blinker, crafted with rye whiskey, grapefruit, raspberry, and lavender. This juicy whiskey mix was immortalized in Patrick Gavin Duffy’s The Official Mixer’s Manual in 1934, but was lost in history for decades before The Underground brought it back to life.
Want to give these a try? The password to the secret side entrance for the speakeasy is updated daily on The Underground’s Instagram stories—give them a follow at @MobMuseum_Underground. If you’re planning a trip this month, you’ll find plenty of special events—or at least get to enjoy an impressive cocktail menu on a quieter night.
Stop in Friday or Saturday nights for live jazz, or join them Saturday, May 11th for “Raise a Glass to the Past: A Speakeasy Tasting and Distillery Tour.” Tickets are available here for a night of appetizers, museum tours, and moonshine tasting during Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appétit.