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The Why of Prohibition

Posted Sep 30 2011 8:44am

cocktail glass The Why of ProhibitionProhibition has always struck me as a curious chapter in America’s history. If you think of it, it is the epitome of government intrusiveness, if that sort of thing raises your hackles. Imagine the government saying today that you cannot have a beer after mowing the lawn or a glass of wine with your dinner. Hard to believe it ever happened.

Ken Burns is airing a new series this weekend about this weird and dangerous time in the United States. My husband and I plan on watching as just a reminder of freedom. Of course, it’s also a good excuse to indulge in some Prohibition-era cocktails. The cocktails of this time were simple out of necessity, but that is where their beauty lies. You don’t have to have five different liquors, ginger-infused simple syrup and small-batch whiskeys in order to make a good drink. Simplicity is beauty unto itself.

Take the Sidecar , for example. Three ingredients and you have yourself a cocktail party. Just cognac, Cointreau and lemon juice. The latter should preferably be freshly squeezed to give it a lift and zip. I suppose if there is one thing I am picky with cocktails it is fresh juice. Fresh lemon, lime or orange is the way to go. You can even fool yourself into thinking there is some measure of good health in your drink.

We’re going to sit back and enjoy watching the series. Of course, I’ll be shaking up some Sidecars to set the mood.

Photo by suga_shack

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