'Gatsby'-Inspired Gin Cocktails Slideshow
May 8, 2013
East Aspen Heights Cocktail
This cocktail is frosty and silky smooth with rich, delicate notes of pear, sun-kissed lime, and blackberries bursting with nectar, so it’s no wonder many guests still order the East Aspen Heights during the chilliest winter nights at Colorado’s OAK at Fourteenth. Just beware, beverage director Bryan Dayton warns us this cocktail is known for its generous serving of gin. Then again, are you really complaining? Click here for the East Aspen Heights cocktail recipe.
Bee’s Knees Cocktail
With limited liquor courtesy of Prohibition, bartenders were forced to not only make alcohol taste good enough to drink, but they had to somehow mask the spirits they were using to avoid getting arrested. Fortunately, there’s one cocktail that’s just so sinfully sweet that it can easily make anyone get up and do the Charleston. The Bee’s Knees, named after a popular flapper phrase, is like indulging in golden honey, except it happens to be spiked with good ol’ gin. Be the cat’s pajamas at any bash with one of the coolest cocktails around, courtesy of mixologist Ryan Maerz from New York City-based event planning company Canard. Click here for the Bee's Knees cocktail recipe.
The Gintleman Cocktail
Dorothy Parker was famous for her sharp wisecracks, hard-as-nails criticism, as well as for being one of the founding members of the Algonquin Round Table, the ultimate who’s who of scribes in New York City. While she ultimately grew dependent on alcohol, Parker would forever embody the independent woman of the ‘20s who wasn’t afraid to put men in their place with her quick wit and talent for the written word. Today, patrons can pay tribute to Parker and her Round Table at Pounds & Ounces in New York City, where they highlight the Gintlemen. Naturally, it features a wonderfully refreshing recipe capturing the reckless indulgence of her legendary era. Click here for the Gintleman cocktail recipe.
With its jewel tone hue and crisp, thirst-quenching taste featuring a medley of juicy raspberries and zesty mint, it’s no wonder both the ladies and gents are falling over the Karthago, which, like its namesake, is unique and unforgettable. It's wonderfully fruity and refreshing, and you may think this tantalizing number has no alcohol, but beware: it’s spiked and doesn’t mind giving a mean punch after several rounds. But rest assured, you won’t regret ordering one or three at Manhattan’s hot spot Center Bar, courtesy of Michael Lomonaco. Click here for the Kathargo cocktail recipe.
Kick off any Friday night with a cocktail that’s silky smooth, but potent enough to pack a mean, oh so welcoming punch. The self explanatory Kashmir, served at Jimmy at The James NY, resembles spiked sweet tea, except it features freshly squeezed orange juice like a mimosa with an added dose of bubbling ginger beer, highlighting refreshing citrus notes. Bottoms up, guys and dolls! Click here for the Kashmir cocktail recipe.
During Prohibition, Americans were flocking to Italy not just to enjoy a fabulous European getaway, but to indulge in cocktails guilt-free. During this time, thirsty Italian count Camillo Negroni asked his barkeep at Café Casoni in Florence for a stronger version of his signature drink, the Americano. Since this era’s reigning spirit was gin, his cocktail was "accidently" prepared with plenty of it. The result was the Negroni and the rest, as they say, is history. Today, this bitter aperitif, also known as "a gentleman’s drink," can still be savored at Manhattan’s gastropub Park Avenue Tavern, where the mixologists take pride in serving guests this old-school favorite. Click here for the Negroni cocktail recipe.
Scarlet Letter Cocktail
It’s been said the classic French 75 cocktail was popularized during World War II when returning fighter pilots were looking for a libation featuring, much like an artillery gun, a powerful kick. However, combining crisp gin with potent brandy could have easily originated in the ‘20s, an era where bartenders were forced to mask the taste of illegal alcohol, all while making it delectable for their growing clientele. The Scarlet Letter, created by Jackson Cannon at The Hawthorne in Boston, is a twist on the French 75, using cranberry purée to modernize the deliciously bubbly drink. Click here for the Scarlet Letter cocktail recipe.
Smooth Operator Cocktail
Gents, want to be as suave as Gatsby himself? Consider ordering the gang a round of Smooth Operators, a tantalizing concoction of icy gin and freshly squeezed pineapple and orange juices for a touch of zest. Not only is this cocktail easy to prepare, but it requires little work at the bar, leaving more room to neck with a sweetie or two. The gin brand used in this recipe is prepared with pure neutral grain and its bold, citrus notes perfectly complement any fruity drink, making it ideal for flappers ready to paint the town sizzling hot red. Click here for the Smooth Operator cocktail recipe.
For a true throwback, nothing can beat summer’s Southside, a drink that originated during Prohibition. According to cocktail folklore, this concoction was created by an Irish gang in gangster-ruled Chicago who were attempting to mask the bitter taste of bathtub gin with mint, a refreshing green garnish. Another tale insists it was created at Manhattan’s 21 Club, a preferred hot spot for the elite. It was such a hit among the city’s tastemakers that it became the preferred choice of country club-goers in the Hamptons during the steamy summer months. Today, you can still order this sought-after number at Manhattan’s PDT (Please Don’t Tell), an East Village speakeasy famous for its ultra posh crowd and cozy atmosphere. Nothing sets the mood at a classic joint quite like this classic favorite. Click here for the Southside cocktail recipe.
The Great Awakening Cocktail
Not all superior gin cocktails are created in mysterious holes in walls tucked away in busy streets and dark alleys. Simply head down south to a sun-soaked resort to awaken those sleepy taste buds. First opened on New Year’s Eve 1925, the Vinoy Resort & Golf Club in St. Petersburg, Fla., has been a favorite among the wealthy looking for a sweet escape during the chilly months of winter. Today, many still flock to the decadent venue, but not just to relax. Here, you’ll find the Great Awakening, a simple, lip-smacking good libation with a powerful kick, all thanks to its prime ingredient, English gin that would gain popularity decades later as the preferred poison of James Bond. Don’t let its seductive cherry swirl fool you. This hefty cocktail is a gentleman’s drink. Click here for the Great Awakening cocktail recipe.
Rolls Royce Cocktail Recipe
One of the most recognizable automobiles of the Roaring ‘20s is undoubtedly the Rolls-Royce, a popular vehicle among doctors and businessmen. But you don’t need to own one to indulge in this cocktail, a modern take inspired by the classic. The Rolls-Royce, a cocktail available at Swift’s Attic in Texas, is a luscious blend of sweet vermouth, liqueur made with the finest herbs from the French Alps, as well as plenty of gin and oranges to quench that grownup thirst. Look spiffy with this swanky libation without emptying your wallet. Click here for the Rolls Royce cocktail recipe.
The Yawkey Way Cocktail
During the ‘20s, bartenders had to get a bit more creative with their drinks, especially in the way they were served, to not only keep them potent with alcohol, but also mask its distinct, bitter flavor. One major trend in the cocktail world during this era was incorporating tea in drinks, allowing bartenders to serve their elixirs in delicate tea cups, keeping suspicions low. The Yawkey Way, by Morgan Schick of Jupiter Olympus in San Francisco, is a revamp of that same formula, resulting in a fruity drink where the black tea syrup adds balances out its sweetness, all while keeping it authentically stiff and powerful. Click here for the Yawkey Way cocktail recipe.