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Prohibition Era Cocktails

In 1920, the Eighteenth Amendment was made to the Constitution, outlawing the production, import, sale and transport of alcoholic beverages. While families could get by with homebrew and hoarded supplies, businesses like saloons and speakeasies were hit hardest by the new law and those enforcing it. However, despite all the confiscation, arrests and occasional skirmishes, society was allowed the privilege of a continuing bar scene. Instead of medicinal bourbon and bootleg moonshine, cocktails continued to be made, and bar culture was allowed to survive. Below are listed some favorite cocktails of the time that flourished and survived those tumultuous times, for your indulgence at The Fearrington House Restaurant.

The Sidecar:
First appearing in 1922 in Henry MacElhone’s Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails, this cocktail was brought overseas from Europe. The cocktail has gone through many variations and recipes, and has become a classic bar staple. Consisting of cognac, lemon juice and orange liqueur, this simple yet elegant cocktail is one that every self-respecting cocktail connoisseur must enjoy at least once.

The Colony Cocktail:
The Colony was a bar in Manhattan that saw multiple A-list members of society through its years, such as the Vanderbilts and the Windsors. During the prohibition era, the liquor was hidden in an elevator, that was sent to the hospital a floor above it during raids. The bartender, Marco Hattem, served the beverages to high society here, and if that meant a cocktail or two, he made them with no questions asked. Consisting of gin, grapefruit juice and maraschino liqueur, this is a lightly sweetened, citrusy cocktail that is easily enjoyed and helps put on the airs.

The White Lady:
Looking as elegant as it sips, the White Lady cocktail gave a touch of beauty and femininity to the bathtub gin that was often used as its base spirit. Created by the aforementioned Henry MacElhone, this drink radiates purity and class, which was a much needed quality in drinks that had sultry origins. Consisting of gin, lemon juice, orange liqueur and an egg white, this silky, white cocktail is as agreeable as they come.

Come to The Fearrington House Restaurant and ask your bartender for one of these drinks to celebrate the freedom and diversity of culture our bars have!

– Watson, Fearrington House Restaurant Bartender