How To Drink Like The 1920s In 2020: Must-See Guide

With 2020 just around the corner, many people are searching for new ideas to celebrate the new year. As we welcome the ’20s, why not travel back to the previous ’20s – the 1920s – for some inspiration? Gatsby did it, so let’s take a page from his party book.

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Though the 1920s was the era of prohibition in the U.S., it was also the era of the rise of speakeasies where spirits continued to flow. Some of the best cocktails emerged from these “dry” times.

Old Fashioned

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Up until the late 19th century, this is what you’d get if you asked for a “whiskey cocktail.” Though the drink survived the prohibition, several distinct takes were invented during the dry times, which resulted in conflicting recipes.

  • 2 ounces of rye or bourbon
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • 1 sugar cube
  • Club soda

Sidecar

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This brandy sour is one of the great sour drinks published in every bartending guide around the time of prohibition.

  • 2 ounces of cognac or Armagnac
  • 1 ounce of Cointreau orange liqueur
  • 3/4 ounce of lemon juice

French 75

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This cocktail served to stretch the sparkling wine and gin a little further once champagne was introduced to the picture. Fun fact: the cocktail is named after a gun used by the French during WWI.

  • 2 ounce of gin
  • 1 teaspoon of simple syrup
  • 1/2 ounce of fresh lemon juice
  • 4 ounces of champagne

Mary Pickford

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Rum was one of the most popular goods during the prohibition and Mary Pickford was America’s sweetheart during the time who starred in silent movies along with actors like Charlie Chaplin. The story behind this drink is that she, her husband and Chaplin were in Havana when a bartender concocted the fruity drink and named it in her honor.

  • 2 ounces of light rum
  • 2 ounces pineapple juice
  • 1 teaspoon grenadine

Corpse Reviver

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This cocktail family was meant as a hangover cure and held the motto “cheers to the hair of the dog that bit you.” Essentially, they were seen as medicinal in the early days but cemented its popularity in the prohibition era by being published in the Savoy Cocktail Handbook.

  • 1 ounce of gin
  • 1/2 ounce of Cointreau
  • 1/2 ounce of Lillet Blonde
  • 3/4 ounce of fresh lemon juice
  • dash of Absinthe
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