Cocktails from the ’20s

HarrysNewYorkBar_Neon Drhaggis Wikimedia CommonsThe 1920s, more commonly referred to as the Roaring Twenties, was a decade that saw a post-WW1 booming economy and Prohibition across the USA. Scottish born bartender Harry MacElhone, who was working in American bars pre-Prohibition, moved to Paris to start work in
The New York Bar, run by former American star jockey Ted Sloan in 1911. It is now advertised as the oldest cocktail bar in Europe

Harry bought the Bar in 1923 and placed his name at the front and the legendary
Harry’s New York Bar was born.

This place was a regular hangout for creative luminaries including Ernest Hemingway. George Gershwin actually composed An American in Paris in its Ivory Bar. Other celebrity clientele included Coco Chanel, Rita Hayworth and Humphrey Bogart.

He also penned cocktail books: Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails and Barflies and Cocktails – first published in 1927 and still in print to this day!

Harry claimed this was the birthplace of cocktails like French 75, The Sidecar, Bloody Mary, The Boulevardier and the White Lady. While their origins are actually unconfirmed, he made them famous! We thought we’d share the recipes with you in the leadup to The Great Gatsby release!

Enjoy …

Bloody_Mary williac FlickrBLOODY MARY created in 1921

45ml (3 parts) Vodka

90ml (6 parts) Tomato juice

15ml (1 part) Lemon juice

Add dashes of Worcestershire Sauce, Tabasco, salt and pepper into a cocktail mixer, then pour all ingredients into highball glass with ice cubes. Stir gently. Garnish with celery stalk and lemon wedge (optional).


Boulevardier Flickr Father AlongTHE BOULEVARDIER

1 1/2 oz. bourbon

1 oz. Campari

1 oz. sweet vermouth

Ice cubes

Tools: mixing glass, barspoon, strainer

Glass: cocktail

Garnish: orange slice, lemon twist or cherry

Stir long and well with ice in a mixing glass and strain into a cocktail glass.


Sidecar-cocktail Flickr The CulinaryGeek Wikimedia CommonsSIDE CAR, named after the motorbike sidecar he travelled around in and first appeared in 1922 in Harry’s book.

Four parts brandy or cognac

Two parts Cointreau

One part lemon juice

Mix the ingredients in a shaker half-full of ice. Strain and serve in a sugar-rimmed glass. Garnish with a strip of lemon rind.


THE WHITE LADY, softer form of the Side Car, created in 1919

1/3 Gin
1/3 Lemon Juice
1/3 Cointreau

Shake and strain and serve in your favourite cocktail glass.


French_75 Flickr Numinosity Wikimedia CommonsFRENCH 75

This combination was said to have such a kick that it felt like being shelled with the powerful French 75mm field gun, also called a “75 Cocktail”, or “Soixante Quinze” in French.

1 oz gin

1/2 oz. simple syrup (or 2 tsp. superfine sugar)

1/2 oz. lemon juice

Brut Champagne or other dry sparkling wine

Combine gin, sugar, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into an iced champagne tulip glass. Fill with Champagne. Garnish with a twist of lemon.


THE MONKEY GLAND, created in the 1920s by Harry MacElhone is a cocktail of gin, orange juice, grenadine and absinthe and named after a surgical technique of grafting monkey testicle tissue into humans! The practice was started by Dr Serge Voronoff, and was intended to produce longevity.Harrys_New_York_bar_Paris Flickr Frederic de Villamil Fotopedia

1 part gin

1 part orange juice

dash absinthe

dash grenadine

Shake well over ice cubes in a shaker, strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Images are public domain and sourced from Wikimedia Commons

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