Let’s go back to the era of flappers, speakeasies, and bootleggers with this list of iconic 1920s cocktails.
And trust me, they’re worth facing the Prohis!
20+ Prohibition-Era Cocktails from The 1920s
Prohibition was in full swing from January 17th, 1920, until December 5th, 1933.
During that time, it was illegal to manufacture, transport, and sell alcohol in the United States.
Of course, that didn’t stop people from indulging!
In fact, some of the most recognizable drinks today are prohibition-era cocktails.
That includes the classic Old Fashioned, the classy Tom Collins, and even the ever-popular Negroni.
So if you’re ready to step into history, check out these stunning 1920s cocktail recipes!
The Aviation cocktail is a gorgeous turn-of-the-century drink with a pretty purple hue.
How’s it done? With crème de violette, of course.
Expect every sip of this lovely purple cocktail to taste like your favorite sour candy. But it also has a hint of cherry sweetness and floral undertones.
2. Bee’s Knees
After one sip of this drink, you’ll know why they call it the Bee’s Knees.
First coined in the roaring 20s, anything the flappers considered great was known as the “bee’s knees” or something similar.
(I guess “the cat’s pajamas” doesn’t sound like a tasty cocktail.)
Anyhow, this fun take on the phrase is a tasty honey cocktail lifted with sharp, botanical flavors of lemon and gin, respectively.
Every sip is sweet, fresh, and perfectly balanced.
This drink sounds tough, but don’t be intimidated by the name.
It’s just a nod to a 1920s movie starring Rudolph Valentino about a bullfighter choosing between love and fame.
But from the scotch and orange juice to the sweet Vermouth and cherry brandy, there’s nothing but love here.
The Boulevardier is a prohibition-era cocktail that’s stood the test of time.
It tastes like a standard Negroni, except you’ll trade the gin for bourbon, giving it a unique caramel flavor.
Made with just three ingredients, it’s as simple as 1-1-1 (one part each). That’s so straightforward, even amateur mixologists can do it.
Have you made the Negroni Sbagliato yet? Because it really is stunning.
That said, we can’t talk about 19020s cocktails and not discuss the OG Negroni.
It’s one of the most famous Campari cocktails around. Mixed with gin and sweet Vermouth, it’s a simple yet robust drink.
Add an orange peel, pour it over ice, and get ready to fall in love.
6. Clover Club
The Clover Club is undoubtedly among the prettiest 1920s cocktails around.
From the lovely pink color and frothy white foam to the bright lemon garnish, this drink is easy on the eyes and on the palate.
Each sip unleashes bright flavors of raspberry and lemon. Plus, the creamy egg-white foam is simply irresistible.
This pretty pink cocktail goes down insanely easily, so be sure to prep a big batch when the guests arrive.
You can make the Colony Cocktail with vodka or gin, and both yield spectacular results.
It’s not very sweet, but it is loaded with bitter-sour flavors that pack a mean punch.
So if you prefer something sweet, skip ahead. But if you like things tart, make a glass and pucker up.
8. French 75
The French 75 is among the most sophisticated cocktails out there.
Every sip is tart and bubbly, with a hint of botanical flavors to keep things interesting.
A magical blend of gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and Champagne, it’s also pretty strong. So be sure to sip safely!
Check out these French 75 Variations for more!
9. Gin Fizz
The Gin Fizz has been around since the 1870s. And that it’s still kicking today goes to show how delicious it is.
You’ll start by shaking gin with lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg whites. Then shake it again with ice.
Pour it into a highball glass and top it with soda water, and it’s ready!
10. Gin Rickey
Have you heard of the Gin Rickey? No? Well, let me introduce you!
If you love a good G&T but want to shake things up, give this sensational sipper a try.
It’s a simple gin cocktail with lime juice and carbonated water, and each sip is cooling and refreshing.
This is the ideal late-night drink for the summer.
Here’s a fun drink to add to your holiday menu. And it’s one of my go-to St. Patrick’s Day cocktails, too!
It’s a cool, creamy concoction crème de menthe and crème de cacao with heavy cream.
You’ll love the sweet flavors of mint and chocolate, along with the creamy consistency and sharp boozy aftertaste.
12. Hanky Panky
This cocktail may have a tongue-in-cheek title, but the flavor is all business.
Each sip is wonderfully balanced, with a complex combination of sweet, bitter, and herbal tastes that’re sure to tickle your taste buds.
Mix gin with sweet Vermouth and the secret ingredient – Fernet-Branca. This Italian liquor is a bitter spirit, which adds a nice herbal punch.
Use Cynar if you can’t find Fernet-Branca.
13. Whiskey Highball
The Whiskey Highball is an ultra-refreshing cocktail full of sweet, citrusy, and bubbly goodness.
If you’re a true whiskey lover, create a variation emphasizing the buttery spirit with soda water and lemon.
Or if you’re a little whiskey-adverse, mix it with ginger ale for a little less bite.
No matter which delicious option you choose, your palate is in for one refreshing treat.
14. Last Word
The Last Word was almost lost in history until the revival of cocktail culture resurrected it from the dead.
And thank goodness it did because you don’t want to miss out on this delectable drink.
You’ll make it with equal parts gin, Chartreuse, Maraschino liqueur, and lime juice.
It’s sour, sweet, and sharp as a knife, but it makes a great slow sipper.
If a Martini and Manhattan had a baby, it would be the Martinez cocktail.
This drink combines elements from both to seemingly create something new and refreshing.
When in reality, this drink dates back to 1880 and is widely considered the precursor of the classic martini.
It has gin, sweet Vermouth, Maraschino liqueur, and Angostura bitters all in one glass.
So it’s strong but has a unique blend of burnt sweetness with a hint of botanicals.
16. Mary Pickford
Make the Mary Pickford if you want to drink like old Hollywood royalty.
A tropical tribute to the silent movie star, you’ll need white rum, fresh pineapple juice, grenadine, and Maraschino liqueur to recreate it.
Pour all that in a shaker and give it a good jostle. Then serve it with cherries and fresh pineapple.
17. Mint Julep
While there are a number of incredible Kentucky Derby cocktails, the Mint Julep reigns supreme.
With lots of muddled mint, simple syrup, and crushed iced, it’s cool, sweet, and refreshing.
Add bourbon and a mint garnish and it’s perfect for summer BBQs.
18. Old Fashioned
Here’s another drink that’s stood the test of time. I mean, does it get any more iconic than the Old Fashioned?
Imagine fragrant orange, sweet cherries, aromatic bitters, and buttery bourbon chilled together in a glass.
There’s so much complexity in an Old Fashioned, which is why it’s one of the best cocktails of all time.
Do you like sour drinks more than sweet ones? If the answer is a “heck yes,” you must try the Sidecar.
It’s an effortless Cognac cocktail with Cointreau and lemon juice. And the flavor is anything but simple.
Every mouthful is crisp, dry, rich, and sour. This drink has many layers, so drink it slowly to enjoy all the complexity.
20. Singapore Sling
The Singapore Sling has to be one of the most colorful additions to this list of 1920s cocktails.
While it goes heavy on the ingredients (there are 10 in total), it comes together easily. Just shake, pour, and garnish.
If you have a well-stocked liquor cabinet, you’re all set. You’ll love the sweet, juicy flavors and bubbly texture that dance on your palate.
21. Tom Collins
If you’re a fan of lemonade cocktails, you have to try the Tom Collins this summer.
It uses all the same fixings as homemade lemonade plus a couple of ounces of gin to add a nice refreshing tang.
The gin adds some nice sharpness to this drink, and the floral flavors blend beautifully with the citrus.
22. Ward 8
The Ward 8 is a turn-of-the-century sipper with lots to write home about.
It’s a great cocktail to make at home since you don’t need fancy liquor and mixers.
Instead, it’s a quick mix of whiskey, orange juice, lemon juice, and grenadine. It tastes like an elevated whiskey sour with a sweet cherry aftertaste. Yum!
23. White Lady
The White Lady is the Sidecar cocktail’s classy cousin.
It’s a stunning Cointreau cocktail with lemon juice, simple syrup, and an egg white for extra body.
Shake it up and serve it in a delicate glass.
You can expect a mildly sour cocktail with a hint of sweet, floral flavors that really seal the deal.
It’s an effortless drink that will make your palate swoon.
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