Once upon a time, in 1919, alcohol was illegal in the United States because a lot of dour people were bossy. This time was called Prohibition. Fun things happened, like people drinking in underground bars known as speakeasies. Gross things happened, like people drinking turpentine and stuff made in dirty bathtubs. Scary things happened, like gangsters getting into violent disputes that would later inspire a really good HBO drama.
On December 5, 1933, this Prohibition malarkey was finally repealed. And the people rejoiced!
Prohibition cocktails get a bad rap, because often-times they were devised to cover up the taste of bad liquor. But the era actually inspired a lot of mixing creativity that mirrors the way we like to drink today.
Here are some Prohibition-era cocktails you can make to celebrate this joyous occasion:
The Last Word ~ A sophisticated concoction of gin, lime juice, green Chartreuse and Maraschino liqueur that originated in Detroit.
Sidecar ~ Cognac, triple sec and lemon juice makes for simple and timeless drink that’s really stood the test of time.
French 75 ~ Possibly the most delightful champagne cocktail on the planet, it includes Prohibition’s biggest star–gin.
The Bee’s Knees ~ This gin, honey and lemon cocktail gets its name from 1920s slang meaning “the best.”
Mary Pickford ~ Named after a 1920s actress who was “America’s Sweetheart,” this drink combines light rum, pineapple juice, maraschino liqueur and a little grenadine.