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Food Timeline>Prohibition cocktails 1927


Judge Jr.'s Here's How [Judge Publishing:New York 1927] is the quintessential catalog of prohibition-era mixology. Beverages are presented with playful headnotes and closing toasts. "Gordon Water" is a primary ingredient. This was gin. Whether "bathtub" or brand name, the author does not elucidate. "McCarty" is defined thusly: "An amber-colored liquid that comes from Havana, usually in pockets." If you know what this is can you please share?. The author omits mixing instructions, garnishes and glassware. Indeed, this trim book (3" X 5", 63 pages) packs a punch. Additional information on speakeasy dining & prohibition parties.

Everthing But French 75 Attaboy Cocktail Alexander's Sister Nose Dive
Royal Smile Frankenjack Mule's Hind Leg Bacardi Cocktail Whiskey Sour
Mint Julep Swiss Itch Old Reliables De Riguer Mint Fizz
Cornell Special Silver Fizz Polo Cocktail Jack Rose Cocktail Judge Jr.


Everything But
"This little drink is christened thrusly because it contains everything but the kitchen stove!

1/4 Scotch;
1/4 Gordon water;
1/4 lemon juice;
1/4 orange juice;
1 egg;
1 teaspoonful of Apricot brandy;
powdered sugar.
Happy Thought: The world is so full of this bootlegger's gin I am sure we shall soon be all blistered within." (p. 12)

French 75
"This drink is really what won the War for the Allies:

2 jiggers Gordon water;
1 part lemon juice;
a spoonful of powdered sugar;
cracked ice.
Fill up the rest of a tall glass with champagne!
[If you use club soda instead of champagne, you have a Tom Collins.]
Toast: Here's to present day culture--which doesn't care about your English if your Scotch is all right!" (p. 36)
[[NOTE: Cocktail history here.]

Attaboy Cocktail
"This recipe has had several names but this one seems to be the most popular.

1/3 Gordon water;
1/3 Bacardi;
1/6 Cointreau;
1/6 lemon juice.
Statistics: If all the college students in this country were laid end to end, it would take a lot of hooch." (p. 61)

Alexander's Sister
Like Alexander, this little drink will give your the ambition to conquer more worlds.

1/3 Gordon water;
1/3 cream;
1/3 creme de menthe.
Toast: Here's to Prohibition! It isn't so bad if it just doesn't get any worse." (p. 39)

Nose Dive
"Contributed by 'Billy' from Wheeler field, Hawaii. This is the aviator's favorite--let's go!

Take a jigger of Gordon water, place in it an olive, then deposit the glass carefully in the bortom of an ordinary tumbler. Fill the said tumbler with water, until almost to the top of the small galss, then down the whole thing quickly, that is, everything but the small glass.
Poor Papa: Father (to youngster, just put to bed)--Now what are you crying for? Son--I wanna drink. 'So do I--go to sleep.'" (p. 19)

Royal Smile
"Which, after two or three, brings a royal flush!

1/3 part Gordon water;
2/3 parts Applejack;
juice of one lime;
2 dashes of grenadine.
Statistics: The things a man says when he is drunk with liquor are never as foolish as those he says when intoxicated with love." (p. 18)

Frankenjack
"Invented by the two proprietors of a very, very well-known Speakeasy in New York City.

1/3 Gordon water;
1/3 French vermouth;
1/6 apricot brandy;
1/6 Cointreau.
Note: In these days of bootleg liquor a night cap is apt to put a fellow to sleep for good." (p. 47))

Mule's Hind Leg
"This title is not an exaggeration--we know--we tried it!

1/5 Gordon Water;
1/5 benedictine;
1/5 Applejack;
1/5 Apricot brandy;
1/5 maple syrup.
Wheeze: 'Did you have a lot of fun at the convention, darling?' 'Barrels of it, dear.'" (p. 32)

Bacardi Cocktail
This recipe is printed in response to the 9,865 people who asked how to make it:

2 parts McCarty;
juice of a lime;
a dash of grenadine;
cracked ice.
Toast: Here's to the tightwad who hides a pair of socks in the pocket of his pajamas in order to cut down his laundry bill!" (p. 41)

Whiskey Sour
"This is really very mid-Victorian, but it ought to be included:

1 jigger of rye;
the juice of half a lemon;
a pice of lemon peel;
a dash of sweet syrup.
Toast: Here's to our bootlegger--he's never low in spirits!" (p. 55)

Mint Julep
"This drink proves conclusively that the South isn't so solid!

Dampen a small bunch of mint, dust with powdered sugar, bruise and pour over it a little boiling water; strain into a tall, thin glass; fill the glass with finely cracked ice; fill with brandy; add sprigs of mint and serve with straws.
Toast: Here's to our bills--and may we some day meet'em." (p. 62)

Swiss Itch
"Invented by one James Norton of Princeton and guaranteed to go down with the ease of an elevator:

Place a pinch of salt on the back of the right hand and with the same north paw hold half a lemon between thumb and forefinger. Hold a small glass of Gordon water in the left hand and follow this sequence: lick the salt, drink the Gordon water and suck the lemon.
Toast: Here's to the pedestrian; evey uear is leap year with him!" (p. 48)

Old Reliables
For the benefit of our young readers who never drank before Prohibition we will give a list of the cocktails of the good old days:

Dry Martini: 1/2 part Gordon water; 1/2 part Italian vermouth; cracked ice; dash of orange bitters.
Manhattan: 1/2 part rye; 1/2 part Italian vermouth; a dash of Peychaud bitters; cracked ice.
Clover Club: 1 jigger of Gordon water; the white of an egg; the juice of a lemon; a dash of grenadine.
Bronx: 1/2 part Gordon water; 1/2 part orange juice; 1 part French vermouth; vracked ice.
Toast: Here's to our wives; they are like cider--the longer you leave them standing around, the more of a kick you get!"(p. 50)

De Riguer
"Hark, ye lads! Here's the very latest drink! Three of these will knock you for a row of aspirins:

1/2 scotch;
1/4 grapefruit juice;
1/4 honey;
cracked ice.
Toast: You don't have to look at a clothes line these days to see what the women are wearing!" (p. 38)

Mint Fizz
"I don't like to talk about myself, but this is good and I don't mean pre-war!

Put some nice fresh mint in a bowl, and some powdered sugar and crust the mint thorougly. Take the juice of a lime, the mint, and a hooker of Gordon water and pour into a tall glass filled with ice. Fill up the rest with White Rock.
Statistics: It's a heck of a lot more fun viewing the Niagara Falls from the Candadian side!" (p. 23)

Cornell Special
"Little, of Cornell, claims that this beverage is as smooth as the hair on a silkworm:

1/4 part of benedictine;
1/4 part of Gordon water;
1/4 part lemon;
1/4 part lithia water.
Toast: Here's a red nose; it indicates a horn of plenty these days!" (p. 34)

Silver Fizz
"This is a very cold drink but is printed especially for the younger generation.

white of an egg;
juice of a lime;
1 jigger of Gordon water;
powdered sugar;
fill with White Rock.
Hey, Hey! Who said that prohibition isn't a success? Just look at the enormous amount of ginger ale that is sold!" (p. 27)

Polo Cocktail
"Invented by Yours truly after a polo match--in the living room!

1/2 grape juice;
1/2 Gordon water;
add a dash of white or green mint.
Note: A great many night club guests don't wait for a raid to go under the table." (p. 30)

Jack Rose Cocktail
"This is another old tiemr which has stood up under the years.

1/3 Applejack;
1/6 Gordon water;
1/12 French vermouth;
1/12 Italian vermouth;
1/6 orange juice;
1/6 lime juice;
dash of grenadine.
Note: The bootlegger who boasts that he is a self-made man is not giving due credit tot he Anti-Saloon League." (p. 60)

Judge Jr.
"This drink I discovered later, was invented by someone else, but it's go just the same!

1 part Gordon water;
1 par McCarty;
1 part lemon juice;
a dash of grenadine.
Toast: Here's to our sons in college; you have to make allowances for them." (p. 26)

Compare with cocktails served at New York's exclusive The Stork Club
& Trader Vic's 20 years later.


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Research conducted by Lynne Olver, editor The Food Timeline. About this site.
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© Lynne Olver 2013
23 December 2013