The Prohibition era in America was a time of strict laws and regulations, where the sale, production, and transportation of alcohol were completely banned.
Despite this, people were still eager to find ways to enjoy their favorite drinks, leading to the rise of secret bars and speakeasies.
During this time, bartenders had to get creative with their recipes, using unique ingredients and techniques to create delicious drinks that could fly under the radar.
These recipes have since become iconic, representing a time of rebellion and indulgence in the face of adversity.
Today, these Prohibition-era cocktails continue to inspire bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts alike.
They offer a glimpse into a time when the simple act of enjoying a drink was an act of rebellion, and the creativity and ingenuity of bartenders shone through.
In this blog post, we'll be exploring some of the best Prohibition-era cocktail recipes, from the classic Old Fashioned to the lesser-known Corpse Reviver.
We'll delve into the history behind each drink, the unique ingredients and techniques used to make them, and how you can recreate them at home. So sit back, grab a glass, and let's take a journey back in time to the era of speakeasies and secret cocktails.
The Scofflaw cocktail is a perfect example of how Prohibition-era cocktails were not just about masking the taste of bad alcohol. Made with bourbon whiskey, dry vermouth, grenadine, angostura bitter orange, and lemon juice, this cocktail is a true classic.
Legend has it that it was created by a New York bartender named Jock, and its name comes from a contest held by a prohibitionist who asked people to come up with a word to describe a lawless drinker. The original recipe called for specific proportions of ingredients, but you can experiment with them to find your perfect balance. If you're looking for a taste of history, the Scofflaw cocktail is a must-try.
2. The Scofflaw
"The Scofflaw" is a Prohibition-era cocktail that is sure to transport you back in time with its complex and balanced flavors. Made with rye whiskey and just five other ingredients, this cocktail is easy to make and perfect for any occasion.
The name "Scofflaw" was coined during Prohibition to describe those who drank illegally, adding a bit of scandalous history to this already intriguing drink. Served in a coupe glass with a decorative lime garnish, "The Scofflaw" is both beautiful and delicious. If you're looking to try a classic cocktail with a bit of a twist, "The Scofflaw" is definitely worth a try.
3. Last Word Cocktail
The Last Word Cocktail is a classic Prohibition-era drink that has stood the test of time. This perfectly balanced cocktail is made with equal parts gin, green Chartreuse, Luxardo maraschino cherry liqueur, and fresh lime juice.
The combination of these ingredients creates a slightly sweet, slightly sour, and pungent flavor that is both refreshing and satisfying. The pale green hue of the drink is visually appealing and the garnish of lime wheels adds a pop of color. The Last Word Cocktail is a must-try for anyone looking to experience a classic Prohibition-era drink.
4. The Mary Pickford Cocktail
The Mary Pickford Cocktail is a classic Prohibition-era drink that has stood the test of time. Named after the famous actress, this cocktail is a perfect blend of white rum, grenadine, pineapple juice, and maraschino liquor. It's a flirty yet elegant drink that is sure to impress anyone who tries it.
The proportions of the ingredients are well-balanced, making it a perfect drink for those who love a little bit of sweetness in their cocktails. The cocktail is best served chilled in a martini or coupe glass, and garnished with pineapple fronds and/or cherry. If you're looking for a signature drink that is both impressive and cool, then the Mary Pickford Cocktail is definitely worth a try.
5. Mary Pickford Cocktail
The Mary Pickford Cocktail is a classic Prohibition-era drink that is a must-try for any cocktail enthusiast. This pretty pink drink is made with rum, pineapple juice, Maraschino liqueur, and grenadine, and is named after the famous movie star Mary Pickford. It has a pleasantly sweet and sour taste from the pineapple juice, with a slightly funky finish from the Maraschino.
The grenadine gives it a beautiful rosy pink color that is sure to impress. This cocktail is perfect for sipping on a warm summer evening or for adding a touch of elegance to any special occasion. If you're looking for a sophisticated and classic cocktail to add to your repertoire, the Mary Pickford Cocktail is definitely worth a try.
6. Lavender Bee's Knees
The Lavender Bee's Knees is a unique twist on the classic Prohibition-era cocktail, the Bee's Knees. Made with a honey-lavender simple syrup, this gin-based cocktail boasts a bouquet of floral flavors with bright citrus notes, making it a perfect choice for a refreshing summer drink.
The lavender adds an elevated and modern touch to the traditional recipe, making it a sophisticated choice for any gathering. The honey and lemon complement the herbal, floral notes of gin beautifully, and the chilled glass adds to the refreshing drinking experience. Overall, the Lavender Bee's Knees is a must-try cocktail for anyone looking for a fancy and modern spin on a classic gin cocktail.
7. Bees Knees
The Bees Knees is a classic cocktail from the Prohibition era that has made a comeback in recent years. This refreshing gin cocktail is made with honey syrup and citrus juice, resulting in a light and tasty drink that's perfect for summer sipping. Gin lovers will appreciate the subtle juniper notes that pair perfectly with the sweetness of the honey syrup.
The Bees Knees is a must-try cocktail for anyone looking to explore the world of Prohibition-era drinks. So, if you're looking for a refreshing and easy-to-make cocktail that's perfect for entertaining or just relaxing after a long day, give the Bees Knees a try!
8. Chai Bee's Knees
"Chai Bee's Knees" is a modern twist on a classic Prohibition-era cocktail. This gin-based cocktail combines the sweet flavors of honey and lemon with the warming spices of chai tea. The cocktail is perfect for spring evenings on the patio, with its floral and herbal notes.
The honey and lemon were originally used to mask the harsh smell of bathtub gin during Prohibition, but now it adds a refreshing sweetness to the cocktail. The chai spice adds a unique kick to the drink, making it perfect for cool spring nights. Overall, "Chai Bee's Knees" is a must-try for anyone looking for a refreshing and unique cocktail.
9. The Martinez
The Martinez is a classic cocktail that predates the Martini and was popular during the Prohibition era. Made with Old Tom gin, sweet vermouth, maraschino liqueur, and a few dashes of bitters, this cocktail is a perfect balance of sweetness, tartness, and bitterness.
It's a great alternative to a Martini and has a unique flavor profile due to the use of Old Tom gin, which is sweeter and fuller-bodied than London dry gin. The Martinez is a must-try for anyone who loves classic cocktails or wants to experience a taste of the Prohibition era.
10. The Bee's Knees Cocktail
The Bee's Knees Cocktail is a classic Prohibition-era drink that combines gin, lemon juice, and honey for a sweet and tangy flavor. The name of the cocktail is a nod to the popular phrase of the time, "the bee's knees," which meant something was top-notch and grand.
It's a refreshing and easy-to-drink cocktail that is perfect for sipping on a warm summer day. If you're looking for a classic and delicious cocktail, The Bee's Knees is definitely worth a try.
11. Aviation Cocktail
The Aviation Cocktail is a floral and slightly sweet gin-based cocktail that disappeared during Prohibition and made a comeback in the 90s. It's served straight up and has a deep bluish-purple color, thanks to the Crème de Violette.
The drink is a perfect balance of sweet and tart with a hint of floral notes that make it a refreshing and unforgettable cocktail. It's a must-try for anyone looking to explore the world of Prohibition-era cocktails.
12. Bee's Knees
The Bee's Knees cocktail is a classic Prohibition-Era drink that is perfect for gin lovers. Made with gin, lemon juice, and honey syrup, this cocktail is a refreshing and balanced drink that is sweetened with real honey and complemented with citrus.
The name of the cocktail comes from a 1900's slang term for "the best" or "awesome," which is fitting given how delicious this cocktail is. While London dry gins are the classic choice for this cocktail, there are many modern-day gins that work well too. Overall, the Bee's Knees is a simple yet flavorful cocktail that is sure to impress.
13. The Monkey Gland Gin Cocktail
The Monkey Gland Gin Cocktail is a Prohibition Era drink that originated in Paris at Harry's New York Bar. Despite its peculiar name, this cocktail is a delightful blend of gin, absinthe, and homemade grenadine made from pomegranate juice and sugar.
The cocktail's unique flavor profile is perfect for those who love oranges, as it features a prominent orange taste. To enhance the orange flavor, some bartenders suggest using Cointreau instead of absinthe. The Monkey Gland Gin Cocktail is a must-try for anyone looking for a classic and refreshing Prohibition Era cocktail.