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.
In a pint mixing glass, muddle the mint leaves. Add spirits and mixers. Fill with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a cocktail glass over ice. Garnish with a mint sprig.