Toast to the past! Enjoy cocktails from the Prohibition era at these Mumbai bar

Feb 07, 2017, 06:00 IST | Joanna Lobo

Drink like it's the 1920s with classic creative cocktails hailing back to the Prohibition era

Blood & Sand at Out of The Blue, Pics/Shadab Khan

Blood & Sand
This cocktail traces its recipe to Harry Craddock’s 1930 The Savoy Cocktail Book. It has orange juice mixed with scotch, equal parts of cherry (or liqueur) and martini rosso. “It became famous because of the movie, Blood and Sand, by Rudolph Valentino. He didn’t know what to call the drink so he called it Blood & Sand because he pictured himself drinking it on the beach,” says Valentine Barboza, bar consultant at Out of the Blue. “This is a drink best appreciated by people who know their alcohol.”

At Le Sutra Hotel, 14 Union Park, Khar (W).
Call 30770113
Cost Rs 925

Bee’s Knees
The phrase ‘bee’s knees’ in Prohibition times was slang for ‘the best’. “In those days, the alcohol was brewed at home; sometimes, clandestinely and at times, even in a bathtub,” reveals Saloni Rupani, partner, Dishkiyaoon. This cocktail is made with gin, lime and honey. It was believed that the addition of citrus and honey could cover the smell and taste of bathtub gin. The drink is served chilled.

At Ground floor, The Capital Building, G Block, BKC.
Call 8291139404
Cost Rs 450 plus taxes

White Lady

This lady has a contested past. Some say the drink was first created in 1919 as a tribute to the actress Mata Hari, while others say it came from the bartending bible, The Savoy Cocktail Book. The White Lady is a frothy, tart drink made with gin, Cointreau, lime and egg white. A variation of another classic, the Sidecar, it belongs to the family of cocktails known as ‘sours’.

Bartender Neil Lopez prepares the White Lady. Pics/ Sneha Kharabe

At Matahaari, level IV, Atria Mall, Dr Annie Besant Road, Lotus Colony, Worli.
Call 67363636
Cost Rs 800

Whiskey sour
The whiskey sour is a simple drink, meant to introduce non-whiskey drinkers to the liquor. It’s history is contentious: the recipe first appears in an 1862 edition of The Bartender’s Guide, but some say it’s been around for longer. The drink became popular during Prohibition days, which saw variations of it, including Boston Sour, Hari Kari and Ward 8. Chef Vicky Ratnani’s version has smoked bourbon, an egg white, fresh lime juice and sugar syrup.

At The Korner House, 21, Union Park Road, Union Park, Khar (W).
Call 65503344
Cost Rs 650 plus taxes

South Side
A drink similar to Bee’s Knees, South Side is also made with gin, mint and sour mix. “In those days, people didn’t have many ingredients so they chose the simplest ones that could be found in their own homes. We use a lime juice, sugar syrup and crushed mint and leaves, top it off with gin and shake the whole mixture so it merges well,” says bar manager Rohit Hegde. The drink, he says, is very popular with our non-Indian patrons. “Indians aren’t too fond of gin. Even though this is similar to a mojito in essence, they prefer their vodka and rum,” he adds. The restaurant also serves a Ward 8 (R400) — a whiskey, orange juice and sour mix combination.

At The Daily Bar & Kitchen, ground floor, behind Shoppers Stop, SV Road, Bandra (W).
Call 9920446633
Cost Rs 400

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