November 13, 2015

Contraband Cocktail Hour: Blue Monday


A woman pours liquor from a hollow cane into a cup at the soda fountain. (Via Contraband Cocktails)

A woman pours liquor from a hollow cane into a cup at the soda fountain. (Image courtesy of Contraband Cocktails.)

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 Blue Monday, one of Harry Craddock’s Prohibition-era classics from The Savoy Cocktail Book. 


3 parts vodka

1 part Cointreau

1 dash blue vegetable extract food coloring

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. No garnish.

How to drink it? As Craddock advised, “Quickly, while it’s laughing at you!”

Now, a bit of trivia to go with your drink:

This Noble Prize winning writer delighted in creating characters who supported Prohibition but who, like the narrator in the passage below, were not so fanatical about it.

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

If a fellow feels like making some good homebrewed beer or wine, or if you go to a fellow’s house and he brings out some hooch or gin, but you don’t know where he got it and it isn’t any of your business, or if you have a business acquaintance coming to your house and you figure he will not loosen up and talk turkey without a little spot, and you know a good dependable bootlegger that you can depend on, then that’s a different matter, and there ain’t any reason on God’s green earth that I can see why you shouldn’t take advantage of it, always providing you aren’t setting somebody a bad example or making it look like you sympathize with lawbreaking. No sir!

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

It’s Friday, not Monday, so bottoms up!