MixMo: Prohibition

Our good friend Jeffrey has decreed that this Mixology Monday shall have the theme of Prohibition. Because it is a theme that I hold dear to my heart, I won’t hold it against him that this month’s MixMo was held one week early so as to be closer to that all hallowed of dates, December 5th, or Repeal Day. Even though, with my own Repeal Day festivities being organized along with the beginning of the holiday party season, it made this quite possibly the worse week ever to have a MixMo. Honestly, no grudges. (Just you wait Morgenthaler, your day will come.)

I’m sure that many other people will cover Prohibition in detail today, but I’ll just mention two key players and offer up drinks named for them, as well as one that I’ve created myself, and named for one of the most important dates in the United States history (seriously, can you imagine a world without legal (read quality) alcohol?).

Prohibition (1919) was a bitch, but what gave that bitch teeth was our good friend Andrew Volstead. (Actually he just sponsored, rather than authored the Act which is named after him, contrary to popular belief). Before the Volstead Act (1920) was enforced, pretty much the only thing that was illegal was the manufacture of alcohol. After Volstead had his way, you couldn’t sell drink or carry the stuff around, unless you had a prescription from your local doctor (if you want to see what those looked like, come by, you guessed it, Vessel, on December 5th, as I’ll have a bunch on hand that day).

One of the provisions in the Act allowed the Government to confiscate vehicles transporting alcohol for sale at auction, thereby funding the enforcing officers. It became so ridiculous at one point, that a man’s trousers were confiscated upon the discovery of a hip flask, on the grounds that they were the vehicle transporting alcohol!!

VOLSTEAD COCKTAIL

¾ oz swedish punch
¾ oz rye
½ oz orange juice
½ oz grenadine
¼ oz anisette
shake over ice
strain into a chilled cocktail glass

This one wasn’t so tasty, but it had potential, so I reworked it (I know that I always do this, but this one required MAJOR reworking). Try the libation below for a more interesting take. If you don’t have Swedish Punch, stay tuned to the Small Screen Network, we will be filming several episodes in the near future, and one of them involves my recipe for home-made Swedish Punch.

VOLSTEAD COCKTAIL (revised)

1 ½ oz rye
½ oz swedish punch
¾ oz orange juice
½ oz grenadine
dash absinthe (use Herbsaint if not available)
shake over ice
strain into a chilled cocktail glass

The other key player that we will pay tribute to today is the 32nd president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Some people might say that one of FDR‘s greatest contributions was his New Deal. I have to disagree. I would say that his single greatest contribution to this great country was his abolition of Prohibition. If you have any doubt of my convictions, come by Vessel and ask to see the pin that I wear at all times (pictured above): it is the 1932 pin that shouts his Repeal the 18th plank. I truly believe that the Repeal of Prohibition was just as much a part of the solution of the Depression as the War was the cause of the beginning of the end of sanity (OK, the final nail in the wet’s coffin). Heck, if we have another recession as many people are predicting, I say that we should vote that the State governments get their hands out of the liquor industry, and make it a true capitalist enterprise. Just think, without the state meddling into the affairs of alcohol production and sales, how many more boutique distilleries would pop up (more jobs), and how much cheaper booze would be on the non-government regulated store shelves (more jobs, and happier customers). But I digress.

Try this lightweight concoction, named after the person that turned the country on its head, and allowed you to drink. Legally.

ROOSEVELT

1 oz gin
1 oz Jamaican rum
½ oz lemon juice
½ oz grenadine
shake over ice
strain into a chilled cocktail glass

And because it wouldn’t be a Boudreau Blog without a new drink, here is a fantastic Scotch cocktail that I’ve just created, in pre-Prohibition style, for this occasion. The greatest challenge for me is to create drinks with tequila, absinthe, or Scotch. These are the spirits that I have the most difficulty with. In the Twelve Five, I’ve managed to fit two of those difficult ingredients together to make a darn tasty drink. My next goal will be to combine all three. Don’t hold your breath.

TWELVE FIVE COCKTAIL

1 ½ oz Scotch (I used Famous Grouse)
¼ oz absinthe (use Herbsaint if you can’t get any)
¾ oz Punt e Mes
¼ oz Benedictine
stir over ice
strain into a cocktail glass
garnish with a lemon twist (important, do not leave out!)

Now that you’ve mixed this one together, tell me what you think. Pretty tasty, no?

In case you are a little slow on the uptake (and I know that rules out the majority of my readers), the name is a nod to the date. The date that we should all know by now. Repeal Day. December 5th. Haven’t you been paying attention, or is it that you’ve just consumed all four recipes provided?

Drinks and pictures provided by:
Jamie Boudreau
www.vesselseattle.com

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~ by Jamie Boudreau on December 3, 2007.

7 Responses to “MixMo: Prohibition”

  1. I am having a Repeal Day Party and was wondering if you had some Prohibition Era recipes I may use. I am trying to keep it authentic and could use all the help I can get. I am in NYC.

  2. Bill:
    Do you mean other than the two that I’d just provided? Sorry I was unable to get to you in time, but the holidays are a crazy time for a bartender.

  3. I couldn’t find your home-made Swedish Punch over at the Small Screen Network – did this ever happen? IF not, could you share it here?

  4. DAH:
    The Small Screen Network videos are still in the editing process. I’ll post a recipe but I’m afraid that you’ll have to wait a while as I’m extremely behind in my posts. If you can’t wait, I’m pretty sure that eGullet has a recipe or two.

  5. Speaking of recipies,…how about grenadine?

    I’ve got one from Morgenthaler, and Mr.Hess but I was curious on your take Jaime! Tried your raspberry sryup and was very pleased.

  6. Ginty:
    Mine is similar to Morgenblogger’s

  7. Thanks Jaime, appreciate it.

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