Celebrate the 80th Anniversary of Prohibition's Repeal With These Prohibition-Era Cocktails

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Photo by Steven Champeon
Thanks to Ward 8, the good guy won the election, and we have this drink.
Ward 8
Most classic cocktails have several murky origins, but the story behind the Ward 8 seems pretty legit. It was allegedly invented in Boston in 1898 to celebrate an election. Democrat Martin M. Lomasney was elected to the state legislature after Boston's Ward 8 delivered him a winning margin.

Locke-Ober, the bar in which the Ward 8 may have been invented, was forced to close during Prohibition, but as soon as Prohibition ended the bar reopened and served Ward 8s made from this recipe:
2 ounces rye whiskey
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/2 ounce fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon grenadine

Shake the rye whiskey, lemon juice, orange juice and grenadine with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry, if desired.

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Photo by Kaitlin Steinberg
It's as good as it sounds.
Bee's Knees
Back in the good ol' days, "bee's knees" was slang for the best. The origin of the cocktail has been lost to history, but the recipe remains, and thank goodness for that, because it's delicious!

Here's a recipe from the History Kitchen:
Honey Simple Syrup
½ cup honey
½ cup water

Combine water and honey in a small saucepan. Heat over medium, whisking often, until the mixture reaches a slow simmer and the honey is smooth and liquified. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Bee's Knees Cocktail
1 ounce honey simple syrup
3/4 ounce gin
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice

Combine 2 tablespoon of the honey simple syrup and the gin, lemon juice and orange juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a small chilled cocktail glass and serve.

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Photo by Seth Anderson
Scoff the law with this boozy beverage.
Scofflaw
This drink has probably the most appropriate name of anything on the list. Clearly, everyone who was continuing to buy and sell alcohol during Prohibition was a scofflaw. This supposedly debuted at Harry's New York Bar in Paris, though, where it wasn't illegal to drink.

According to Liquor.com, "The recipe came into being as a result of the word scofflaw coming to prominence on January 15, 1924. It won a contest held by prohibitionist Delcevare King that asked people to coin a term to describe the lawless drinker, 'to stab awake the conscience.'"

And here's how to make it:

2 ounces bourbon or rye whiskey
1 ounce dry vermouth
1/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/2 ounce grenadine
2 dashes orange bitters

Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

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Photo by star5112
Go 12 miles offshore to enjoy this drink.
12-Mile Limit
The 18th Amendment made it illegal to drink alcohol anywhere in the U.S. and within 12 miles of the coast. This meant people with boats were the only ones who could legally drink (because boating and drinking sounds like a great idea). People poked fun at the somewhat arbitrary distinction between legal and illegal places to drink with this strong cocktail.

This recipe comes from Saveur magazine:
1 ounce silver rum
1/2 ounce rye whiskey
1/2 ounce brandy
1/2 ounce grenadine
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
1 lemon twist, to garnish

Combine rum, whiskey, brandy, grenadine, and juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Cover and shake until chilled, about 15 seconds. Strain into a chilled highball glass and top with lemon twist.

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Photo by Krista
A sweet, pretty drink for a sweet, pretty lady.
Mary Pickford
This drink is obviously named for the silent film star of the 1920s. According to legend, she was in Cuba filming a movie with her husband, Douglas Fairbanks, and the two stayed at the Hotel Nacional de Cuba. The bartender there, Fred Kaufman, invented this sweet girly drink in Pickford's honor.

This recipe, which appears not to have changed much over the years, comes from Liquor.com:
1.5 ounces white rum
1.5 ounces pineapple juice
1 teaspoon grenadine
6 drops maraschino liqueur

Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.


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