November 6, 2015

Contraband Cocktail Hour: Alexander


A crowded bar in New York City, the night before Prohibition went into effect. June 30, 1919.

A crowded bar in NYC, the night before Prohibition went into effect. June 30, 1919.

Some years ago, at a flea market in Florida, Paul Dickson happened upon the Prohibition Era’s little black book—a six-ring binder filled with cocktail recipes dating to a period when even books on mixing drinks were seen as violations of the spirit (and, of course, the Eighteenth Amendment).

From this binder, and considerable research, Dickson concocted Contraband Cocktails—a guide to the history, famous characters, language, and drink recipes that emerged in the fourteen years America was dry.

In this week’s edition of Contraband Cocktail Friday, we present you with the… 


⅔ jigger (1½ oz.) dry gin

½ jigger sweet cream

½ jigger Crème de Cacao

Shake well with cracked ice and strain into large cocktail glass.

And, now, a bit of trivia to go with your drink:

During Prohibition, places that sold booze by the bottle were known as “drugstores”—a euphemism which is lost on modern readers of _________, a novel by a writer with a rather notorious cocktailing rep.

Can you guess the book from which the following passage is excerpted?

“I found out what your ‘drug-stores’ were.” He turned to us and spoke rapidly. “He and this Wolfsheim bought up a lot of side-street drug-stores here and in Chicago and sold grain alcohol over the counter. That’s one of his little stunts. I picked him for a bootlegger the first time I saw him, and I wasn’t far wrong.”

The first reader to email [email protected] with the correct answer will win a free copy of Contraband Cocktails.

Happy Friday!