December 5, also known as Repeal Day, is an important day for bartenders and drinkers. It marks the day that prohibition was repealed back in 1933. Prohibition banned the production and sale of alcohol in 1920, believing that alcohol was the cause of crime and basically everything wrong with society. Today, two of our favorite New York bartenders share their favorite Repeal Day recipes. Now, do your civic duty: Go forth and drink!
From Pete Vasconcellos at The Penrose, NYC:
“The pre-prohibition era cocktails are the DNA of The Penrose’s cocktail program. Almost all of our most popular on and off menu drinks are either direct copies or slight tweaks on the influential cocktails of that era; some of our most popular drinks that we have house-specific recipes for include the Daiquri, Old Fashioned, Sazerac, Negroni, Manhattan, Sidecar, Dry Martini, Bobby Burns, Bee’s Knees, Bramble, De La Louisiane and French 75 (as well as its cousin, the French Seven Point Five).
With a few exceptions, we make all of these drinks with a nod to the Sasha Petraske school of bartending. We acknowledge the agreed upon ‘best practice’ specs of these drinks in the modern era. For the most part, the Milk and Honeys of the world sifted through the varied specs of the pre-Prohibition era and set the new standard for bars like ours in the early 00’s.
In the instances that we have further tweaked these drinks to our own specs — for instance, our Negroni — we have tested and re-tested each drink with different combinations of modern brands to find the drink that we think tastes best. Our negroni, therefore, specifies Bombay Dry Gin, Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, Punt e Mes vermouth and Campari. We garnish with an orange twist. It’s the best Negroni I’ve ever had.”
The Penrose Negroni
- 1.25 oz Bombay Dry Gin
- 1 oz Campari
- 0.5 oz Cocchi di Torino
- 0.5 oz Punt e Mes
Add all of the ingredients to an Old Fashioned glass and fill with ice. Stir until cold. Garnish with an organic twis.
From Mike Di Tota at The Bonnie, Astoria, NY:
“We are currently serving the Gin Fizz as part of our Liquor Cabinet Cocktail program, through which we highlight classic recipes using a top shelf spirit. The first printed reference to the drink is from Jerry Thomas’s ‘Bartenders Guide’ in 1876, and back in the day, fizzes were almost a remedy — something to sip when your stomach was upset. I love egg white drinks, fizzes in particular, because you get a sweet, citrusy, sour-like drink, as well as that nice foamy froth from the egg whites. You get a multi-layered drinking experience. And I’m still fascinated that someone thought to put a raw egg white into a cocktail and drink it.”
- 2 oz Farmer’s Botanical Organic gin
- 0.75 oz simple syrup
- 0.75 oz lemon
- 1 egg white
- Club Soda
Add all ingredients to shaker (except soda) and shake without ice for about 10 seconds. Add ice and shake vigorously until shaker is ice cold. Strain ingredients into a collins glass and top with soda.