In March, I challenged myself to publish a cocktail recipe every day, for 14 days, on social media – the challenge was that I had to use spirits I already had at home, and that I could not make any extra/unnecessary trips to the grocery store for mixer, etc. This challenge became Free Pour Jenny’s Recesses of the Liquor Cabinet series.

In the May issue of What’s Up Yukon, I brought you the third instalment of the series, and now I give you the fourth! This selection of cocktails is, you guessed it, inspired by gin, but really, it’s inspired by the Prohibition era cocktails of the Roaring Twenties. I was asked to teach a mixology class recently, one that would have a “1920 in 2020” theme, and I promise to deliver this class at Well Bread Culinary Centre as soon as those classes are given the green light.

In many ways, the 1920s were defined by freewheeling pop culture, new style, economic growth, and widespread rejection of traditional moral standards; it was, in short, a time of massive social change (and some incredible cocktails!).

Ideal Cocktail

Ideal Cocktail

This recipe appears in 1917 in Hugo Ensslin book, Recipes for Mixed Drinks. There seems to be several versions, including the one in Harry Craddock’s famous The Savoy Cocktail Book. I prefer it without the maraschino liqueur, and I have played with the ratios and added bitters, but feel free to add a few dashes of that liqueur to your drink!

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ oz gin
  • 1/3 oz dry vermouth
  • 2/3 oz sweet vermouth
  • ¾ oz freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 10 drops FPJ Solstice Bitters
  • preserved cherry or small grapefruit wedge

Instructions

Add all ingredients except garnish to a cocktail shaker with ice, and shake to chill. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass or coupe. Garnish with a preserved cherry or small wedge of grapefruit.

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Southside

Southside

Here is another Prohibition-era cocktail that was designed to hide the nasty flavours of bathtub gin! It’s a super tasty and refreshing libation. I have modified it by using turbinado syrup (instead of simple syrup made with refined white sugar) and by adding bitters, of course.

Ingredients

  • 2 oz gin
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • ½ oz turbinado syrup*
  • 1 sprig of mint, plus mint leaf for garnish
  • 8 drops FPJ Cucumber-Mint Bitters

Instructions

Combine all ingredients except garnish in a cocktail shaker with ice, and shake until chilled. Strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a mint leaf.

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Hanky-Panky

Hanky-Panky

This one originated in 1925 at the renowned Savoy Hotel – head bartender Ada Coleman created it for actor Charles Hawtrey, who said when he first tried the cocktail, “By Jove! That is the real hanky-panky!” I have taken the liberty of adding some orange bitters to this already bitter creation. Also, I prefer it stirred as opposed to shaken (shaking it dilutes the flavours more, and this cocktail is supposed to have some punch).

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ oz gin
  • 1 ½ oz sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes (2.5 ml) Fernet-Branca
  • 4 drops FPJ Orange Bitters
  • orange peel (approx. 1” wide by 2-3” long – use a vegetable peeler or paring knife)

Instructions

Add liquid ingredients to a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir until chilled, and then strain into a coupe. Squeeze the orange peel while holding it just over the cocktail, and then add it to the glass.

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The Bitter Earl

The Bitter Earl

This creation is not a 1920s vintage cocktail, but one of my own creation. It fits in with this column’s gin theme. It also has the option of a mocktail variation, noted below. Cheers!

Ingredients

  • 3 oz iced Earl Grey tea
  • 1 ½ oz Campari
  • 1 oz gin
  • ½ oz rich turbinado syrup*
  • 5 drops FPJ Cranberry Bitters
  • 2 oz soda water
  • orange wedge

Instructions

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, and shake to chill. Strain into a tall glass with fresh ice, and top with soda water. Stir gently, add a paper straw, and garnish with an orange wedge.

Mocktail Variation:

Double the iced tea and rich syrup, and omit the Campari and gin. Squeeze the orange wedge into the mocktail, and drop it into the glass.

Notes

Turbinado Syrup / Rich Turbinado Syrup

½ cup turbinado sugar (to make rich syrup, use 1 cup of turbinado sugar, for a 2:1 ratio)
½ cup water

Add sugar and water to a small saucepan; heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, just until the mixture comes to a simmer. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat, and let cool. Pour syrup into a clean jar, label, and store in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to 2 weeks.

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