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3 Prohibition Cocktails you need to Try

Written by

Brooklynn Holtz

I’ve had just about every job there is. I’ve dressed in velvet ball gowns at Disney World, been guilty of murder at a dinner theatre, and offered to pour coffee in TV commercials. It probably comes as no surprise, then, that I responded to a Craigslist ad calling for Trivia Night Hosts back in January 2012. I quickly moved on to Sales, followed by Management, and finally, Marketing, where I now manage big picture efforts to spread our love of Trivia to the world. When I’m not spreading the love, I have dance parties in my living room, listen to funky jazz music, and daydream about a better world.All Posts

Spanning from 1920-1933, the age of Prohibition is ironically most closely associated with the bootleggers and speakeasies which rose in response to the nationwide ban on alcohol. One of the many unintended outcomes of Prohibition was the increase in popularity of cocktails.

Between the occasional need to mask the flavor of a bad batch of bootlegged liquor, and the constant effort to stretch a little bit of alcohol a long way, the Prohibition-era put many of the most iconic cocktails on the map.

Some of these cocktails can be found on almost any bar menu (Old Fashioned, Highball, Mojito, etc). However, there are many underrated options that deserve a revival. Here are three lesser-known Prohibition cocktails to jazz up your menu.

champagne scaled

French 75

Why you should try it

The French 75 was reportedly Ernest Hemingway’s favorite cocktail, which is reason enough to give it a try.

It’s exact origins are unknown, but it is believed by some to be one of the few cocktails actually created during Prohibition. So if it’s a genuine speakeasy vibe you’re going for, the French 75 is a must-add.


0.5 oz fresh lemon juice
0.5 oz simple syrup
1 oz gin
3 oz champagne

How to make it

Add the lemon juice, simple syrup, and gin into a shaker with ice and shake well
Strain into a champagne flute
Top with the champagne

Garnish with a lemon twist

drink with orange slice scaled

Ward Eight

Why you should try it

Legend has it that the Ward Eight was created by a Boston bartender after a local politician won their seat with the help of heavy election rigging in Boston’s Ward Eight voting district.

Nothing says Prohibition like an underhanded politician! And, the use of grenadine in this cocktail is a classic Prohibition-era trick for masking liquor deficiencies.


2 oz bourbon
0.75 oz lemon juice
0.75 oz simple syrup
1 dash grenadine

How to make it

Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake well
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass or collins glass filled with ice
Garnish with a cherry and orange slice

orange cocktail scaled

Mary Pickford

Why you should try it

This Prohibition cocktail staple is named for a monumental silent movie star. Allegedly, Mary was vacationing in Havana with her husband and Charlie Chaplin, where a bartender created the concoction and named it in her honor.

In other words, the legacy of this cocktail comes with all the glitz and glamor associated with The Roaring Twenties.


2 oz light rum
2 oz pineapple juice
1 teaspoon grenadine

How to make it

Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake well
Strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a cherry