It was 100 years ago on Friday, January 17 when the 18th Amendment, or Volstead Act, outlawed alcohol manufacturing, sales and transportation in the United States. Liquor flowed again on December 13, 1933 with the 21st Amendment. America was never the same. During those 13-plus years of the roaring 20’s, a larger-than-life culture emerged. We still see much of that culture today, which included bootleggers that evolved into NASCAR, the flapper era, organized crime, speakeasies, and many cocktails we still enjoy.
As I’ve learned, bartenders created a new menu of cocktails with tasty ingredients to help hide the bitter taste of the era’s “hooch” gin, bourbon, rum, and other liquor. There were many cocktails created during or popular during Prohibition including the Buck’s Fizz, which a bartender in Paris invented in 1925 and was a popular speakeasy beverage—now a brunch staple known as a mimosa.
These are a few standouts Gillian, the main character in Becker Circle, would have served to celebrate. You’ll see a common theme of bathtub gin, which was easier to get during prohibition.
2 oz. Cognac or brandy
1 oz. orange liqueur (Cointreau or Triple Sec)
½ oz. Lemon juice
Dip your glass rim in lemon juice and then in sugar to make a yummy sugar rim. Shake ingredients with ice in a shaker, strain into a martini glass.
1-1 ½ oz. dry gin (it was originally a bourbon drink and changed to gin during Prohibition since gin doesn’t require aging)
½ oz. fresh lime juice
Club soda to top
Shake ingredients with ice in a shaker, strain over ice into a highball glass. Add a lime slice to float in drink and on the side.
Southside (legend says it was created in Chicago’s South Side and a favorite of Al Capone)
2 oz. gin
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
5 mint leaves
1 oz. simple syrup
Gently muddle mint and lemon juice in a shaker. Add remaining ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into chilled martini glass. Add a lemon twist and mint sprig garnish to dress it up.
2 oz. gin
¾ oz. fresh lemon juice
½ oz. honey syrup (½ cup honey, ½ cup water heated in saucepan over medium heat)
Shake ingredients with ice in a shaker, strain into a chilled martini glass. Add a lemon twist.
We should never repeat history and pass laws that make daily activities of law-abiding citizens illegal. If we do, American ingenuity will kick in and create a new culture that lives on forever.
Visit during the weekend for photos of these yummy cocktails.
Please don’t drink and drive or drink and dial.