Throwing a fabulous 1930s or 1940s themed cocktail party and want to make sure the drinks list is up to scratch? Below is a list of popular cocktails that were served in the post-Prohibition years.
Note that cocktails from the 1930s and '40s were predominantly based on gin, rum, brandy or whiskey - vodka did not make an appearance (in American cocktails) until the 1950s.
Clark Gable and Constance Bennett imbibing
in the 1935 movie 'After Office Hours'
Sidecar 1 measure Cointreau 1 measure brandy/cognac 1 measure lemon juice Shake with ice and strain into sugar-rimmed cocktail (martini) glass and garnish with a strip of lemon
Gin Sour 2 measures gin juice of half a large lemon 1 tsp caster sugar Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a short glass.
Gin Fizz 2 measures gin juice of half a large lemon 1 tsp caster sugar Soda water Shake the gin, lemon juice and sugar with ice until the sugar dissolves. Pour over ice in a highball glass and top up with soda water.
Orange Blossom equal parts gin and fresh squeezed orange juice Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail (Martini) glass
Pink Lady1.5 measures Plymouth gin (as opposed to the more common London Dry gin) half measure grenadine half measure heavy cream quarter measure lemon juice 1 measure egg white Dip the rim of a champagne saucer in grenadine and then in caster sugar to make a pink rim. Shake the ingredients with ice and strain into the glass, add a cherry garnish.
Whiskey Sour 1 generous measure of American whiskey Juice of half a lemon 1 tsp caster sugar soda water Mix lemon juice and sugar in a small tumbler with a three ice cubes until sugar is dissolved. Add whiskey and stir, then add a dash of soda water.
Sazerac Originally created by Antoine Amédée Peychaud in the 1830s in New Orleans, it's reportedly the first cocktail ever invented in America. A recipe for the Sazerac is listed inthe book Famous New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix 'Empublished in 1937. 6 measures rye whiskey 1 measure absinthe few dashes of Peychaud's bitters 1 sugar cube (or a small amount of simple syrup) Curl of lemon peel for garnish Pack an old fashioned (lowball) glass with ice to chill it. In a second glass, muddle the sugar cube and bitters, then add the rye whiskey. Empty the ice from the first glass and pour the absinthe in and swirl around to coat the sides of the glass, then discard any excess absinthe. Pour the rye-sugar-bitters mixture into the absinthe-coated glass and garnish with a lemon peel.
Horse's Neck 1 lemon 2 measures dry gin, or bourbon/whiskey dry ginger ale Cut the entire rind from the lemon in one long spiral, and hang it from the rim of a tall glass so it dangles inside the glass. Add lots of ice and the gin or whiskey, then top up with ginger ale.
Bronx A very New York cocktail from the early 20th century. 1.5 measures gin three-quarters measure dry vermouth three-quarters measure sweet red vermouth juice of quarter of an orange Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail (Martini) glass, garnish with a slice of orange.
Gibson half measure dry white vermouth 2.5 measures gin 2 cocktail onions Pour vermouth and gin into a glass with ice, stir and let chill for 30 seconds. Skewer onions on a cocktail stick and place in a cocktail (Martini) glass so onions rest at the bottom. Strain vermouth/gin into the glass.
Planter's Punch 1 measure fresh lime juice 1 measure orange juice 2 measures dark rum half measure grenadine dash of bitters chilled soda water or lemonade Add lime, orange juice, rum and grenadine to a pitcher of ice and mix well. Fill a wide tumbler (e.g. fat tall glass) with ice and add a dash of bitters to the bottom. Strain the rum/juice/grenadine mixture into the glass and top up with soda water or lemonade. Garnish with peach slices.
Champagne Cocktail 1 sugar cube 2-3 dashes of bitters quarter measure cognac/brandy Champagne Place the suagr cube in the bottom of a champagne flute, add the bitters and roll the sugar lump around to soak it up. Add brandy and top with champagne.
Mint Julep One of the oldest cocktails of them all. It originated in the southern United States, probably during the eighteenth century. 2 measures bourbon (American whiskey) 8-10 fresh mint leaves 1 tbsp caster sugar Muddle the mint and sugar in a tall glass (alternatively put mint, sugar and a dash of hot water in a short glass and grind together, then spoon into a tall glass over crushed ice). Add bourbon, top off with crushed ice, stir well and let stand to chill the drink and let the ice partially melt. Garnish with mint leaves.
Manhattan 2 and a quarter measures American rye whiskey 1 measures sweet red vermouth Dash of bitters Maraschino cherry to garnish Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail (Martini) glass, garnish with the cherry.
Sherry Flip 2 measures brown cream sherry half tsp caster sugar 1 egg, beaten grated nutmeg to garnish Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a small wine glass. Sprinke nutmeg on the surface.
Martini1 measure gin dash of sweet red vermouth Mix gin and vermouth gently in a pitcher of ice, then strain into a cocktail (Martini) glass. Squeeze a twist of lemon rind over the surface to release essential oils on top of the drink. Add a green olive skewered on a cocktail stick.
ZombieLegendary 1930s recipe created at Don the Beachcomber restaurant in Hollywood as a hangover cureand became popular at the 1939 World's Fair in New York. 1 measure white rum 1 measure light rum 1 measure dark rum 1 measure apricot brandy 1 measure pineapple juice 1 measure papaya juice ½ measure 151-proof rum Dash of grenadine Shake all ingredients other than the 151-proof rum with ice. Pour drink and ice into a tall glass and top with the high-proof rum.