Bancroft Prohibition-Era Cocktails
Handcrafted. Historic. Meaningful.
12-Mile Limit 13
Bacardi light rum, Templeton rye whiskey, brandy and a hint of cherry with a lemon twist
Cognac, and rich orange Cointreau with a fresh lemon twist
Mary Pickford 11
Bacardi light rum, brightened with fresh pineapple juice,
maraschino liqueur and grenadine
Between the Sheets 12
Bacardi light rum against dark brandy and
Cointreau with fresh lemon juice
Ward 8 11
Templeton rye whiskey with lemon juice,
orange juice and grenadine
French 75 12
Beefeater light gin, lemon juice, and agave syrup
topped with Californian champagne
Tuxedo #2 11
Sweet Maraschino liqueur balanced by Beefeater gin,
vermouth, bitters and dose of absinthe
Bee’s Knees 12
A spoonful of honey swirled in with Tanqueray gin, fresh lemon and orange juice
Moscow Mule 9
Absolut vodka, lime juice and ginger beer
Maker’s Mark bourbon, sweet vermouth and
Michigan sweet cherry
Cointreau, Maker’s Mark bourbon and Angostura bitters,
topped with Californian champagne
Gin Rickey 9
Tanqueray gin, the juice of one fresh lime, and a splash of soda
Long Island Iced Tea 14
A very, very, strong, refreshing and sweet mix of all the basics,
Grey Goose vodka, Tanqueray gin, Bacardi light rum, Jose Cuervo
Gold tequila, Triple Sec, fresh squeezed lime and cola.
Bacardi light rum, fresh lime, fresh mint,
cane sugar and club soda
Prohibition cocktails and Martini’s are handcrafted to perfection and require a minimum of 10 minutes to construct the perfect cocktail during peak hours. Your patience is appreciated.
How They Came to Be
12-Mile Limit: Imagine you’re a rum runner during Prohibition. You’re bringing a load of rum up from the islands. How close can you get to the US coast before you have to start worrying about the revenuers? Well, if it’s early in prohibition, you can get to about 3 miles out and you’re good to go. Since it wasn’t illegal to own the hooch, only to sell it in the US, people could simply cruise out and pick up whatever they like for personal consumption. Well, not surprisingly, those in power didn’t much like this so they pushed the limit on territorial waters out to one hour’s “steaming distance”, generally 12 miles. This, clearly, made it a lot more difficult for those without serious boats to get out to the liquor sellers. As a result, the Twelve Mile Limit was concocted as a jab at the rule makers.
Sidecar: This one’s a stiff one. It was first introduced in London by MacGarry, the celebrated bar-tender of Buck’s Club. It was invented in honor of an American Army captain in Paris during World War I and “named after the motorcycle sidecar in which the good captain was driven to and from the little bistro where the drink was born and christened”.
Mary Pickford: In 1927 the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel was opened with the help of investors Mary Pickford, her second husband, Douglas Fairbanks & Louis B. Mayer. Mary Pickford was ‘the’ star of silent films, one of the first female media celebrities and an early power player in the Hollywood machine.
Between the Sheets: The Sidecar might have started as equal parts brandy, cointreau and lemon, but today you’ll find it with a heavier dose of cognac. During Prohibition, bartenders went even farther and split the cognac with rum, dubbing this concoction “Between the Sheets,” which perhaps hinted not so subtly at its effectiveness.
Ward 8: In a strange twist of fate, this cocktail helped spur the closure of the bar where it was created. In 1898 politician Martin Lomasney was running to be Boston’s Ward Eight representative. The day before the election, his supporters clamored into the Locke-Ober Café and convinced the barman to create a new cocktail in support of Lomasney. He won the election and then fought for prohibition in Ward Eight, causing the Locke-Ober to close its bar.
French 75: Named after a hard hitting World War One artillery piece, this drink was created in 1915 at the New York Bar in Paris, (latter named Harry’s New York Bar) by barman Harry MacElhone. The 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.
Tuxedo #2: During prohibition, Barkeeps had limited access to good booze, so they used sweeteners & juices to cover up the taste of the rough hooch. Tuxedo the drink & tuxedo the apparel are just the thing for a proper Gatsby bash.
Bee’s Knees: Gin is said to have been Fitzgerald’s drink of choice; he was under the impression that its scent could not be detected on his breath. This concoction was born during the years of Prohibition, when most liquor was low-quality bathtub gin that needed plenty of masking with other flavors. The cocktail is called “The Bee’s Knees,” a cute name and a popular phrase during the 1920s; to call something the “bee’s knees” is to say that it’s top notch and grand.
Seelbach: In the 1920s, Prohibition contributed to the wealth of underworld kingpins who were drawn to the most glamorous spots for cards and leisure. The Seelbach, was named after the grandest hotel in Louisville and the center of Kentucky’s bourbon and whiskey country which attracted some of the most famous gangsters. Notorious figures included Lucky Luciano and Dutch Schultz – known as the “Beer Baron of the Bronx.”
Gin Rickey: With hot, muggy weather around the corner, bartender Williamson concocted a summertime cooler. Democratic Lobbyist, “Colonel Joe” Rickey had one in a Washington, D.C., bar and called for another, whereupon the bartender named the drink for him.
Long Island Ice Tea: Long Island Iced Tea isn’t from New York at all. It is claimed to have been invented in the 1920s during Prohibition, by an “Old Man Bishop” in a local community named Long Island in Kingsport, Tennessee.
Mojito: Don’t worry about prohibition ever again; rum runners are always around to save us. It has been said that Hemingway made the bar called La Bodeguita del Medio famous as he became one of its regulars and wrote “My mojito in La Bodeguita, My daiquiri in El Floridita.” This expression in English can be read on the wall of the bar today, handwritten & signed in his name.
Classic Cocktails – How They Got Their Names
Manhattan: Popular history suggests that the drink originated at the Manhattan Club in New York City in the early 1870s, where it was invented by Dr. Iain Marshall for a banquet hosted by Lady Randolph Churchill, (Winston’s mother). The success of the banquet made the drink fashionable, later prompting several people to request the drink by referring to the name of the club where it originated—”the Manhattan cocktail”.
Moscow Mule: In 1941 a vodka distributor for Smirnoff in the USA was having a rough go at competing with the extreme popularity of whiskey. Meanwhile, a ginger beer manufacturer in Hollywood was having the same problem competing against the much more common ginger ale & root beer drinks. Someone suggested combining the two along with some lemon juice. Ice was brought, drinks poured – after several rounds, the drink was christened the “Moscow Mule” in reference to vodka’s association with Russia.
Local. Sustainable. Repurposing History.
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