In 1838, Antoine Peychaud, owner of a New Orleans apothecary, treated his friends to brandy toddies of his own recipe, which included his own bitters made from a secret family recipe. Made using an egg cup as a jigger, then known as a coquetier, from which the word cocktail is derived — so was born the world’s first original cocktail. You can find the Sazerac at the Avalon Hotel Beverly Hills, or you can make your own chamomile Sazerac, a sure favorite at your Repeal Day parties.
The Clover Club is a pin drink, made of gin, lemon, raspberry, and egg white — but don't let the color fool you, it's hard stuff. In the early 1900s, stately fellows of a certain education would gather at the Clover Club in Philadelphia’s Bellevue-Stratford hotel and this signature tipple took its name from the bar that served it. (Now, you can find it at the Avalon Hotel Beverly Hills during happy hour.) David Wondrich shares his Clover Club recipe over at Liquor.com.
Introduced at the Detroit Athletic Club in the 1920s, this Prohibition-era drink (made of gin, green chartreuse, and maraschino) lives up to its declarative swagger of a name. You can find it at the Avalon Hotel Beverly Hills, or make the Saveur cocktail recipe at home.
Another whiskey cocktail for your Prohibition cocktails, this time from Lilium in New York City.
2 ounces Rye
½ ounce sweet vermouth
¼ ounce Cherry Heering
2 dashes of bitters
Rinse a rocks glass with absinthe and add ice. Mix ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into to the absinthe rinsed glass. Garnish with an orange peel.
Gussy up your traditional Manhattan with corn whiskey, and you get the Blonde Manhattan from New York City's Lilium.
1 ¾ ounces corn whiskey
1 ounce sweet vermouth
1/2 ounce Cointreau
3 dashes of orange bitters
Shake with ice and strain up or over fresh ice on rocks glass; garnish with lemon twist.
The easiest way to celebrate the repeal of Prohibition? Whiskey. Thanks to the underground New York City bar, Lilium, you can toast the repeal with Prohibition-inspired flights. The Lilium Prohibition flight menus (each at $15):
Moonshine: Old Smokey; Hudson Corn Whiskey; Junior Johnson Carolina Moonshine
Prohibition Tie-In: The term is derived from "moonrakers," used for early English smugglers and the clandestine nature of the operations of illegal Appalachian distillers who produced and distributed whiskey.
Rye: Old Overholt; Michters; Templeton
Prohibition Tie-In: Truly an American invention that transitioned from an American staple to an American relic with the loss of rye fields during prohibition. Old Overholt is also a favorite on Boardwalk Empire.
Canadian: Windsor; CC; VO
Prohibition Tie-In: Prohibition in Canada was short, but laws were in effect in the U.S. for many years, which allowed rumrunners to make a fortune.
Bourbon: Old Grandad; Old Crow; Old Foster
Prohibition Tie-In: Prior to Prohibition in 1920, whiskey bourbon distilleries were abundant. Many distilleries were unable to reopen once prohibition ended in 1933. In 1964, Congress passed a resolution that protected the term "bourbon" and the way it is produced.
At Los Angeles' The Parish, bar manager John Coltharp has recreated the traditional Prohibition cocktail, the Bee's Knees. The Bee’s Knees drink was created during Prohibition and was one of the first drinks recorded to use honey, which was used instead of plain sugar because it covered up the taste of bootleg, or "bathtub," gin. You can find it at The Parish on Repeal Day.
The Bee's Knees
2 ounces gin
3/4 ounces lemon juice
3/4 ounces mixed honey*
Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon wedge.
*The Parish mixes two different local honeys together and then adds water to a ratio of 3 parts honey and 1 part water. The honey is sourced from Honey Pacifica in Long Beach.