ChewsWise Blog

ChewsWise Blog

A 75th Anniversary: I'll Drink to That

By Clare Leschin-Hoar

As if our current economic woes weren't enough to remind us of the 1930s, this Friday, December 5th, marks the 75th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition. It lasted 13 thirsty years until 1933. That's reason to celebrate -- even if you might be feeling a bit pinched lately.

While I've never had to imbibe in any bathtub gin or homemade hooch, it's exciting to see some of the country’s best bartenders bringing back some authentic vintage-era cocktails made from ingredients like rye, applejack and plenty of gin.

In Boston, cocktail guru Jackson Cannon of Eastern Standard brushed up on his Prohibition history, and has been reviving cocktails like the Jack Rose, El Presidente, The Scofflaw Cocktail and the Monkey Gland in a year-long celebration. It culminates in a roaring Twenties-themed costume dinner and party Thursday night.

Speakeasy's have also sprung up. In New York City, there's cozy PDT, which stands for “Please Don’t Tell”. Don’t know where to find it? Head to hot-dog joint Crif Dogs on St. Marks Place and look for a vintage-style phone booth where you pick up the receiver and press the button. If you measure up, you’re buzzed in through a secret door where bartender Jim Meehan slings era-appropriate cocktails in a low ceiling room.

In Chicago, Violet Hour and their famed bartender, Toby Maloney are where locals go for speakeasy cocktails. At San Francisco’s stylish Bourbon & Branch, patrons can nurse whiskey mash in a room with red velvet walls, or they might hop over to 21st Amendment which is holding a "repealebration celebration" on Friday.

For the aspiring mixologist, here's a couple of recipes below the fold.


Scofflaw Cocktail
Courtesy of Jackson Cannon

1 ½ ounces rye whiskey
1 ounces dry vermouth
¾ ounce grenadine
¾ ounce lemon juice

Shake, strain into a chilled lowball, channel knife lemon twist over the glass, no garnish.

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& (yes, it’s called the “&” cocktail.)
Courtesy of Jackson Cannon

1 ounce Old Tom Gin
1 ounce brandy
1 ounce sweet vermouth
Dash of orange bitters

Shake, strain into a martini glass, no garnish.