Friday, September 30, 2011

Exhibit #78: Prohibition Cocktails

Bacardi Cocktail $6.50
Light rum, lime juice and pomegranate syrup. A tart daiquiri with pomegranate syrup stepping in for the sugar. A drink that predates the Great Experiment, but grew in popularity in that time and afterwards.

Barbary Coast $6.50
A list of ingredients that screams Prohibition: scotch, gin, crème de cacao, and cream, up. Believe it or not, it’s not half bad, and has the bonus of looking like an innocent glass of milk. Likely born as a desperate attempt to make an Alexander, with scotch and gin in place of the usual brandy.

Colony Cocktail $7
Dry gin, grapefruit juice, and Luxardo maraschino, up. New York’s Colony was no ordinary speakeasy – it catered to the wealthy and powerful. This was their signature drink.

French 75 $9
Dry gin, lemon juice, syrup, sparkling wine, on the rocks Created a few years before Prohibition by Harry McElhone at his New York Bar in Paris, but propagated in the US during the dark time, and a standard to this day. NYC’s elite Stork Club (1929-1965) is associated with introducing this drink in the US. Interestingly a still was discovered at the nightclub’s original site when it was demolished in the 1960s. Modern recipes cut the gin back to a half serving or less, which puts a lie to the drink’s namesake, a 75mm French artillery gun much-used in WWI. On the other hand, to the generation of barmen put out to pasture by Prohibition, it would’ve been recognized as a Diamond Fizz with more ‘wine’…been there, done that.

Last Word $8
Equal parts gin, Luxardo maraschino, green Chartreuse, and lime juice, up. An invention of vaudeville performer Frank Fogerty (“the Dublin minstrel”) at the Detroit Athletic Club during Prohibition, unpublished until the early 1950s, ignored for decades, then successfully resurrected by a bartender at Seattle’s Zig Zag a few years ago, it has since became a relatively well-known (and well-liked) cocktail.

Mary Pickford $7
Light rum, pineapple juice, and a wee bit of pomegranate syrup. Pickford was a major film star of the silent era and the first to make news for successfully demanding higher salaries and artistic control. She later founded United Artists along with Charlie Chaplin, D. W. Griffith, and soon-to-be husband Douglas Fairbanks. Her star faded with the advent of the ‘talkies’ and she subsequently began to love her booze a bit too much – whether that included this cocktail named in her honor we do not know.

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