Top 10 Prohibition cocktails

4th December, 2013 by Amy Hopkins

As the US celebrates the repeal of the 18th amendment, we take a look at the iconic cocktails which sprang from the Prohibition era.

Prohibition repeal day

A swathe of cocktails enjoyed in the 1920s remain relevant today, 80 years after the repeal of Prohibition.

In 1919, the US government sanctioned a law which would criminalise the manufacturing and sale of alcohol for 13 long years – resulting in the stratospheric rise of bootlegging and Al Capone’s gangster squad, as well some of the most creative innovation the drinks industry has ever seen.

The law was widely flouted, and a violent war between the “wets” and the “dries” swiftly ensued.

Alcohol, predominantly in the form of an un-aged, high-proof spirit called moonshine or homemade “bathtub gin”, was still available through rogue manufacturers and the growing mafia, while a corrupt police force turned a blind eye and moralists waged war.

Yet those with a more sensitive palate required some sweeter notes, resulting in a surge of  mixed drinks.

While chasers such as the Pickleback helped cleanse the burning palates of Prohibition drinkers, illicit bartenders and party-throwers soon discovered that a wealth of delicious mixed drinks could be made from a few simple ingredients.

Some of these cocktails have fallen by the wayside over the course of spirits history, while others have stepped back into the drinks list spotlight due to a recent swell in speakeasy-style bars across the world.

In celebration of the end of the “noble experiment”, take a look at our top 10 Prohibition cocktails. 

Think we’ve missed any out? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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