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Celebrate With Some Prohibition-Era Cocktail Recipes



The month of December marks the 79th anniversary of the repeal of prohibition, and the era seems to be making a comeback in modern day culture as today’s fashion, cocktails, and hit TV shows and movies are inspired by a time of bootleggers, speakeasies and gangsters.

The newfound enthusiasm for Prohibition era gin and whiskey cocktails has spread across the US as dedicated bartenders are bringing back once-forgotten cocktails from the pre-prohibition era, resurrected from historic cocktail books and in some cases using painstakingly recreated tinctures, liqueurs and bitters.

Below are a few recipes of Prohibition-era cocktail recipes from one of the gins that was actually around in the 1920s – Tanqueray.

The Franklin

  • 1.5oz Tanqueray London Dry Gin
  • 1 tbsp dry vermouth
  • 2 tbsp olive juice
  • 2 olives

Fill a mixer with all ingredients including the olives. Cover and shake hard 3 – 4 times. Strain contents of the mixer into the cocktail glass. Garnish with an olive.

The Franklin, a dirty martini, is the drink that brought it all back and the cocktail that FDR celebrated the repeal of Prohibition with.

White Lady

  • 1.5oz Tanqueray London Dry Gin
  • .75oz orange liqueur
  • .75oz lemon juice

Pour all of the ingredients into a shaker, fill with ice, shake and strain into a chilled a coupe glass.

Introduced in the late 20’s, The White Lady was born from a drink named “Delilah,” which included crème de menthe. The Savoy’s Harry Craddock replaced it with orange liqueur and it became an instant classic.

Gin Buck

  • 1.5oz Tanqueray London Dry Gin
  • 4oz ginger ale
  • .5 lemon juice
  • ½ of the shell of a lemon

Squeeze lemon or lime juice into a collins glass and add the juiced shell of the lemon. Add ice and the Tanqueray. Top with ginger ale.

A relatively forgotten drink from the 20’s, this classic gin cocktail offers a taste that’s refreshing and light.

Southside Fizz

  • 1.5oz Tanqueray London Dry Gin
  • 3/4oz fresh lemon juice
  • 0.5oz simple syrup
  • 8–10 mint leaves
  • Club soda

Place mint leaves in cocktail shaker and gently bruise with muddler. Add gin, lemon juice and sugar, and stir to dissolve. Fill shaker with large pieces of ice and shake gently for 10 seconds. Double-strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Top with chilled club soda.

The Southside Fizz is the signature drink at the 21 Club, a historic and notorious speakeasy during Prohibition that still has the hidden secret passageway to the wine cellar under the adjoining building where all the illicit alcohol was hidden.

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