Top 10 Prohibition cocktails
As the US celebrates the repeal of the 18th amendment, we take a look at the iconic cocktails which sprang from the Prohibition era.
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.
It consists of white rum, pineapple juice, maraschino liqueur and grenadine syrup.
Said to be the choice cocktail of F. Scott Fitzgerald, author of decadent jazz-age novel The Great Gatsby, the Gin Rickey was initially served with a Bourbon spirit base, changing to gin during Prohibition since this spirit does not require aging.
The simple cocktail is made up of gin, lime and soda.
It consists of muddled mint, Bourbon, water and sugar.
The cocktail is made from gin, champagne, lemon juice and sugar.
First popularised in A Bar-tender’s Guide by “the father of American mixology”, 19th century bartender Jerry Thomas, the Tom Collins hit new heights of fame during the 1920s due to the surge in illicit gin production. It consists of gin, lemon, sugar and soda water.
It is made of Cognac, Cointreau and lemon juice.
Still popular today, the cocktail was originally made using gin, Cointreau, lemon juice and egg white.
It contains Bourbon, lemon juice, sugar and a dash of egg white.
The Bees Knees consists of gin, honey, and lemon juice.
Rum-based cocktails provided some much needed relief to rotgut-inducing bathtub gin, and since Cuba is situated in close proximity to Florida, Bacardi could be smuggled in copious amounts across the border.
The classic Prohibition Bacardi Cocktail contains white Bacardi rum, lime juice and grenadine.