Ahh, the 1920s. While America was mired in Prohibition, Europe was discovering that mixing various types of hard liquor together with a little juice was a really good way to (temporarily) forget the horrors of the Great War. Bright Young Things gathered in bars in Berlin, London, Paris, and Venice to sample Honey Bees, Pussyfoots, and, yes, martinis and Manhattans. Eventually, event smart houses like Downton started serving before-dinner mixed drinks, though the older generation such as the Dowager probably would have stuck to the more traditional sherry.
Cocktails weren’t actually new in the 1920s–the first use of the word in print was in 1803 in the States–but this was a time of great innovation, and the best bartenders in many big cities became famous in their own right. You might not have Harry MacEthone (bartender at Ciro’s club in London who published one of the first cocktail books, Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails, in 1919. It’s still in print today), but that doesn’t mean you can’t whip up a batch of one of these classics, or even invent one of your own! Do something jolly with your hair, serve some of these, and soon nobody will even notice the stove’s not working and you’re all eating cold cuts and singing Let Me Call You Sweetheart.
Source: BBC Food
Edith’s getting married! Break out the fizzies!
1 white sugar cube
2 dashes bitters
20ml (3/4 oz) cognac
Enough champagne to fill the glass
Place the sugar cube on a spoon and add the bitters.
Drop the soaked cube into a champagne flute and add the cognac
Top with champagne, toast Edith’s happiness, and drink
Source: BBC Food
15ml (3/4 oz) vermouth
60ml (2 oz) vodka
Twist of lemon or olives to garnish
Pour vermouth and vodka into a mixing glass or shaker and fill with ice cubes. Shake or stir according to taste. Strain into a martini glass.
Garnish with lemon or olives.
In honour of our favourite dowager
Source: Drinks by Jacques (pub 1914)
Juice of ½ lemon
1 barspoonful sugar
¾ jigger gin
¼ jigger creme de violet
Mix all and top with fizzy water
Legend has it this was invented in 1874 by Dr Ian Marshall for a banquet hosted by Jennie Jerome (Winston Churchill’s American socialite mother). Or it might have been invented by a bartender on Broadway in the 1860s. Feel free to pick which story you like best.
3/4 oz sweet vermouth
2 1/2 oz bourbon
1 maraschino cherry
1 twist orange peel