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Prohibition Cocktails

Posted by Deco London on

Ada Coleman - Head Barwoman at The Savoy Hotel American Bar, 1920s
The prohibition of alcohol in the United States during the 1920s, led to the illegal production of homemade spirits 'nicknamed Bathtub Gin', which were usually poor quality cheap-grain alcohol with a nasty taste. Many cocktails we are familiar with today, were created in the 1920s to mask the taste of the Bathtub Gin. Here are a few of our favourite recipes to try.

The Franklin
A classic American cocktail, named after president Franklin D Roosevelt.

1.5 oz Tanqueray London Dry Gin
1 tbsp dry vermouth
2 tbsp olive juice
2 olives

Fill a mixer with all ingredients. Cover and shake hard. Strain contents of the mixer into the cocktail glass. Garnish with an olive.


The Hanky Panky
Invented in the 1920s by bartender Ada Coleman in the American Bar, London's Savoy Hotel.  As one of the only female bartenders of the time, Ada made the bar famous with her mixology skills and personality, both of which the clientele loved.

1 1/2 oz gin
1 1/2 oz sweet vermouth
Two dashes of Fernet Branca
Twist of orange

Pour the ingredients into a shaker with ice, shake and strain into a glass. Add a twist of orange

The White Lady
Created by The Savoy Hotel's bartender Harry Craddock, who took over from Ada Coleman as the main bartender at the Savoy's American Bar in 1926. 

1.5 oz Gin
.75 oz orange liqueur
.75 oz lemon juice

Pour all of the ingredients into a shaker, fill with ice, shake and strain into a chilled coupe glass.

In 1930, The Savoy's Cocktail book was published, which included many of Harry Craddock's cocktails.  Harry worked at the Savoy until 1939 and then moved to the Dorchester Hotel.  
It is said that Harry buried a a White Lady cocktail in a shaker in the walls of both the Savoy and the Dorchester. 
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