Drink Along With The Great Gatsby

the-great-gatsby-cocktailsMy love of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and my love of cocktails are nothing new. The Great Gatsby movie, however, is a great excuse for me to combine these two loves. Besides, if Baz Luhrmann has gone and ruined one of my favorite books, I just might need a drink! I’ve rounded up some fun 1920s cocktails and Prohibition drinks before, but here is a new batch especially inspired by the goings on in West Egg. Why not have a Gatsby party? (Only, like, without the being dead inside part, OK?)

Gin Rickey ~ Gin, lime, sugar, soda. This was supposedly Fitzgerald’s favorite drink, and it’s one of the few specifically mentioned in the book. Gatsby, Daisy, and Tom drank theirs “in long, greedy swallows.”

Mint Julep ~ At one point, Daisy just wants to find “a place to have a mint julep.” The gang gets their mint juleps, along with a high dose of tension. I suggest opting for the drink and skipping the tense argument.

Seelbach Cocktail ~ Tom and Daisy’s wedding was at the Seelbach Hotel in Kentucky. And while the book doesn’t mention it, they most certainly had a Seelbach Cocktail or three, since that was the hotel’s pride-and-joy cocktail during that era.

Champagne Cocktail ~ “In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.” It wouldn’t be a Gatsby party without Champagne. The classic Champagne Cocktail is just a bitters-soaked sugar cube in a glass of bubbly. But, in honor of the green light, why not sub Green Chartreuse or absinthe for the bitters.

Tuxedo No. 2 ~ This fancy Prohibition-era cocktail adds maraschino liqueur and orange bitters to a Martini. Tuxedo the drink and tuxedo the apparel are just the thing for a proper Gatsby bash.

1920s Cocktails

Boardwalk Empire is back on, so you may be inspired to mix up some Prohibition-era cocktails with your hooch. I’ve already rounded up some of my favorite 1920s cocktails here, but there was a lot of drinkin’ going on during America’s “dry” spell. So I found a lot more giggle juice recipes to share. They really are the cat’s pajamas. (If you’re not already using 1920s slang, start now. Don’t be a flat tire! Now you’re on the trolley, sister/mister!)

White Lady ~ Gin was big during bootlegging times, and many people made it in their bathtubs. Don’t do that. Instead, buy some nice gin and add a little Cointreau and lemon for this simple little tipple. It’s the real McCoy!

Southside Cocktail ~ Another refreshing gin cocktail, this time with just a little sugar, mint, and lemon to perk things up. Sounds like a modern drink to me. Nifty!

Clover Club ~ This fizz made with gin, egg white, and raspberry syrup was served at the Clover Club, one of the finest speakeasies. This wasn’t your typical juice joint, as you’d find celebrities and socialites sipping side by side. Ritzy!

Fallen Angel ~ Creme de menthe adds a little minty kick to this classic gin and lime combo. It’s similar to the Southside Cocktail, only with liqueur in place of fresh mint and a dash of bitters. You can even make your own simple creme de menthe for the occasion. Hotsy totsy!

Ward 8 Cocktail ~ Anyone who has seen the goings on of Boardwalk Empire knows that whiskey was big business. So here’s a whiskey drink made with rye, orange juice and grenadine–a popular combination during the ’20s. It’s a little like a whiskey sour, and if you use fresh juice and a quality or homemade grenadine, you’ll be accentuating the spirit and not covering it up. 1920s slang omitted!

Happy Repeal Day!

Here is the best kind of history lesson, the kind that ends with drinking.

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.