The cocktail’s popularity soared during the Prohibition era in the United States, as it did an excellent job of masking the awful taste and smell of alcohol. With the ban of selling alcohol during the 1920s, the nation took it upon themselves to distill their own gins and whilst this gave drinkers the same warm glowing feeling after having a few, it wasn’t too pleasant on the taste buds. So bar tenders (or should we say medicine prescribers*) started experimenting with other legal ingredients and the mighty cocktail has never looked back.
*another way to get around the no-drinking law was to have alcohol prescribed to you by your doctor.
We’ve rounded up our top three favourite (and oldest!) cocktails inspired by and created during the Prohibition era:
The Clover Club
Named after the gentleman’s club in Philadelphia, it was enjoyed before the Prohibition with the first recipes being published in 1917. The tangy raspberries contrasting with the lemon is a perfect blend and an all-round crowd pleaser.
The Bee’s Knees
Yes, when something’s the bee’s knees, it’s brilliant and so is this cocktail! This sweet, light cocktail was especially popular when masking those homemade bathtub gins! Luckily we’ve moved past those days and don’t have to worry about why the ingredients were chosen!
Originally made with a rather large measure of Cointreau and crème de menthe, this wasn’t everyone’s go-to cocktail. A decade later the recipe was tweaked with the addition of gin, the removal of crème de menthe and an egg white was thrown in for good measure. All in all a classic gin cocktail and favoured by Laurel and Hardy at the Savoy Hotel in the 1930s.
Not a cocktail fan, but still want to get into the 1920’s swing? Pour your favourite tipple into a china teacup and drink inconspicuously!
Or why not join us for the ultimate Christmas and NYE parties at The ICC, Birmingham for our Roaring 20s ball. It’s going to be a night of forbidden drinks, glamour and raucous entertainment!