For a quick history on Repeal Day (December 5th), which marks the anniversary of the end of Prohibition in the U.S.A., please visit the official Repeal Day site. Jeffrey has done a terrific job setting out what its all about, so no need to repeat it here.
Being in Chicago, which was one of the hotbeds of the alcohol business during Prohibition, I struggled with what to write (plus its been a very busy week). I decided on a couple of cocktails, one for "hooch" and a decent one from the Prohibition era.
My trusty copy of the Savoy Cocktail Book contains a section I've never visited before, entitled "Cocktails Suitable for a Prohibition Country" (p. 184). One of these cocktails is similar to other drinks I've made, so I thought I'd give it a whirl.
Mr. Manhattan Cocktail
Crush 1 lump of sugar in a little water
Crush 4 leaves of fresh mint
1 Dash Lemon Juice
4 Dashes Orange Juice
1 Glass Gin
Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass.
Since this was suggested as a cocktail to make in a Prohibition country (the next one in the book actually calls for "hooch whisky"), I decided to make it with the gin in my collection that I like the very least. I guess I won't call it out by name (okay, I will - its Leyden Gin).
How was it?
Eh. It was better when we made it with a better gin, but it was only so-so. It seemed like it would require some tinkering to get it where you'd want to make it over and over again.
Another Fun Cocktail from the Prohibition Era
Just for fun, I thought I'd throw in a cocktail that I often enjoy that was created in the early 1920s, most likely by Harry McElhone (per Ted Haigh's excellent tome, Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails). As a few other bloggers found, there doesn't seem to be much other use for that bottle of Parfait Amour I bought awhile back, so I make this drink periodically.
Jupiter Cocktail (modified)
2 oz Dry Gin
1 oz Dry Vermouth
2 tsp Parfait Amour
2 tsp Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
Shake all ingredients with ice, then strain into cocktail glass. Do measure the ingredients on this one!
Happy Repeal Day, don't forget the toast on December 5th!