Every 5th of December the entire cocktail world celebrates the end of Prohibition and the 21st Amendment to the Constitution which repealed the 18th Amendment and the Volstead Act.

1919 to 1933 was a dark era in the history of drinking in America, but it was also a time that gave meteoric rise to the modern day cocktail. Why? Because, despite the efforts of the temperance movement to eradicate booze from America's landscape, Prohibition instead fueled in Americans a love for cocktails and gave drinking alcohol glamour and sexiness by making it taboo.

Speakeasies sprang up all over the major cities in the United States serving "bathtub gin", bootleg whiskey and smuggled rums, most of which were pretty low quality and bad tasting, if not outright dangerous to drink. To make the low quality spirits palatable to their scofflaw patrons, bartenders would mix them with all nature of fruit juice, mixers and bitters to hide the bad taste of the booze. Their success is evident in the number for bespoke drinks that survived the dark ages of alcohol to live on in bars and cocktail parties right up to today's revival of vintage libations.

If you've never tried these cocktails, today is the day to give them some happy hour honor. Below you will find the classic recipes, as well as some some of my signature adaptations, for some of the survivors of those 13 years of a hoped for, but not accomplished, dry America.

Happy Repeal Day and may you Party Like It's 1933 Again!


Spiced Lavender BEES KNEES


The CORPSE REVIVER (Lives Again)

TERRI'S CHERRY 65 inspired by the FRENCH 75

Created by bartender George Williamson, per popular customer Joe Rickey's instructions, at Shoemaker's, in Washington D.C. during a particularly brutal heat wave in 1883. The Rickey was originally made with rye whiskey.

2 Oz. Gin
Fresh Lime Juice
Seltzer Water
Optional: Splash of Simple Syrup 
Mix ingredients in a highball glass filled with ice.

Created by Ada Coleman at the American Bar in The Savoy in 1925.

1-1/2 Oz. Gin
1-1/2 Oz. Sweet Vermouth
2 Dashes Fernet Branca
Stir ingredients in a mixing glass with ice, strain into a chilled glass, express an orange twist over the top.

The first mention of this popular Prohibition cocktail comes from a 1916 Detroit Athletic Club menu.

3/4 Oz. Gin
3/4 Oz. Chartreuse
3/4 Oz. Maraschino Liqueur
3/4 Oz. Fresh Lime Juice
Shake with ice, strain into a child cocktail glass.

Created for actress Mary Pickford at the Hotel Nacional de Cuba in the 1920s.

2 Oz. White Rum
2 Oz. Pineapple Juice
1 Tsp. Maraschino Liqueur
1 Tsp. Grenadine
Shake ingredients with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnished with a cocktail cherry.


The RYE RACKETEER inspired by the SCOFFLAW


The WARD 8
According to Robert Vermiere this is a cocktail named after Boston, a city divided into 8 wards.

1-1/2 Oz. Rye Whiskey
3/4 Oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
3/4 Oz. Fresh Orange Juice
1/4 Oz. Grenadine
Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled glass. Add an ice cube and a splash of sparkling water.

When Harry Craddock of The Savoy took a cocktail named the Delilah and replaced the creme de menthe with orange liqueur the White Lady was born.

1-1/2 Oz. London Dry Gin
3/4 Oz. Orange Liqueur
3/4 Oz. Lemon Juice
Pour all of the ingredients into a shaker, fill with ice, shake and strain into a chilled coupe glass.





Here's a perfect cocktail for cold weather and the holiday season. It's got all your winter favorites in one glass; hot coffee, chocolate and peppermint plus, yay, booze!

Merry, Merry whatever holiday you celebrate at this time of year.


1 Oz. Caffè Borghetti Espresso Coffee Liqueur
1/2 Oz. DeKuyper Dark Créme de Cacao
1/2 Oz. Peppermint Schnapps
4 Oz. Hot Coffee

Garnish: Espresso Whipped Cream*, Dusting of Instant Espresso Powder and a Chocolate Candy Cane

Tools: Cocktail Shaker

Glass: Coffee Mug

Add the ingredients to a coffee mug, stir, garnish and serve.

* My recipe for the Espresso Whipped Cream can be found on this Fernet Mocha Frappé Shake Cocktail

Yes, you can make it a cold cocktail too. Just shake the ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker, strain, garnish and serve in an Old Fashioned glass instead of a mug.

National  Peppermint Latte Day is December 3rd.





There's something about late fall that makes me want caramel apples. Maybe it's because my mother used to make caramel apples for the Trick or Treaters every year. I also happen to love caramel apples so when fall creeps around the corner my cocktail fancy often turns to this childhood favorite.

Ages ago I created a Caramel Apple Martini, long before there were caramel, apple or salted caramel vodkas on the market. When I discovered I had tucked a bottle of Smirnoff Kissed Caramel Vodka on my bar shelf and forgotten about it, I decided maybe I'd try a new recipe.

The new recipe turned out great. It's absolutely perfect for a dessert drink!


2 Oz. Smirnoff Kissed Caramel Vodka
1 Oz. Irish Cream Liqueur
3 Oz. Apple Juice or Cider
1/4 Tsp. of Sea Salt

Garnish: Rim glass: 2 Tbsp. Demerara sugar mixed with 1/2 Tsp. Sea Salt, Dried Apple Slice

Tools: Cocktail Shaker

Glass: Rocks or Cocktail

Rim then chill glass in the freezer.
Add ingredients to the cocktail shaker and shake until chilled. 
Strain into the chilled glass, garnish and serve.

If you love this cocktail you might also enjoy making my




My friend Dave (@DaveThePlatypus) pointed out that I had no Cranberry Margarita in my Cranberry Cocktail line up. He was right, somehow I had totally neglected to post up a cranberry margarita.

Seriously, where has my mind been every holiday season??

I correct that omission right now.


2 Oz. Blue Agave Tequila Blanco
1/2 Oz. Cointreau
2 Oz. Cranberry Juice
3/4 Oz. Fresh Lime Juice
Cup of Ice

Garnish: Sugar and Wild Hibiscus Salt Rim, Lime Wedge. Optional - Few Fresh Cranberries

Tools: Cocktail Shaker

Glass: Cocktail or Margarita

Mix 2 Tablespoons of sugar with 1 Teaspoon of Wild Hibiscus Salt Flakes. Rub glass rim with lime then dip in the sugar and salt mixture.
Add all of the ingredients to a cocktail shaker then shake until chilled.
Strain into an ice filled glass, garnish and serve.



MULLED APPLE CIDER Cocktails & Punch

A perfect drink for sipping in front of the Christmas Yule log in your fireplace, this Mulled Cider is a heated holiday version of my classic Apple Martini with the addition of the traditional fruits and spices of mulled cider.

It's a modern version of very old, traditional Wassail*, a beverage of hot mulled cider which evolved from a drink called 'lambswool' where roasted crab apples were dropped into warmed mead. Wassail, a spiced cider or wine, was traditionally drunk as an integral part of wassailing, a Medieval English drinking ritual intended to ensure a good cider apple harvest for the following year.

Wassail! Wassail!
All over the town,
Our toast it is white and our ale it is brown;
Our bowl it is made of the white maple tree;
With the wassailing bowl, we'll drink unto thee.

This spiced apple cider classic is one of my most popular holiday cocktails, very nostalgic and comforting on cold nights and ideal for holiday entertaining.

(Serves 4)

4 Oz. Dark Rum
2 Oz. Apple Pucker
8 Oz. Apple Cider
1 Tea Bag of Martinelli's Mulling Spices
1/2 Tsp. McCormick Orange Peel
1/2 Tsp. McCormick Lemon Peel

GARNISH PER DRINK: 1 Dried Apple Slice, 1 Dried Orange Slice, 1Cinnamon Stick

TOOLS: Saucepan, Ladle

GLASS: Tea Cups or Mugs

Add the apple cider, mulling spice tea bag, lemon peel and orange peel to your saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and allow to cool while the flavors infuse through the cider.
At serving time add the rum and the Apple Pucker, bring the spiced cider back to a simmer.
Ladle into your serving vessels, garnish and enjoy.

You can also multiply the recipe and use a crock pot for larger gatherings. Place the cider, spice bags, lemon and orange peel in the crock pot and heat on low for 4 hours. Add the spirits just before serving.

Yes, you can leave out the booze for a non-alcoholic version.

"Old Apple tree, old apple tree;
We've come to wassail thee;
To bear and to bow apples enow;
Hats full, caps full, three bushel bags full;
Barn floors full and a little heap under the stairs."

* Old Norse "ves heil", Old English "was hál", which translates to "be you healthy"





Served cold in bottles or hot in foaming tankards, Butterbeer is a Wizarding World tipple made famous in the Harry Potter books and movies. The whole idea of butter beer fascinated me whenever mentioned, I would think, "I wonder what that would taste like?"

Well, according to J. K. Rowling herself, "I made it up. I imagine it to taste a little bit like less-sickly butterscotch."

Okey-dokey, slightly sweet, probably should be carbonated, needs a buttery touch. I needed more to go on so I did a little research and discovered there actually was something called "Buttered Beer" back in Tudor times. There is a recipe in The Good Huswifes Handmaide for the Kitchin' (1588) made from beer, sugar, eggs, nutmeg, cloves and butter. Heston Blumenthal used a recipe from The Accomplisht Cook by Robert May (1664), which has a buttered beer with licorice root and aniseeds when he had his Tudor Feast. However, these don't sound much like the Butterbeer of Harry Potter's World to me, these sound like hot beer flips.

Supposedly Butterbeer, which is low in alcohol content, makes house elves drunk but humans have to drink a lot to get inebriated. Well, boo to that. A glass or two of Butterbeer that doesn't get Harry, Ron or Hermione tipsy might be okay for underage students at Hogwarts, but we Muggle adults need a little ABV to get through our magic deprived world ... especially these days.

There are a few boozy concoctions out there for "Butterbeer" that make use of rum and butterscotch syrup or liqueurs. These are basically uninspired recreations of Hot Buttered Rum which is a made from rum, butter, hot water or cider, some sweetener, and spices. Seriously? That doesn't sound at all like J.K. Rowling's idea of Butterbeer. Where's the BEER?? May they be consigned to Slytherin House by the Sorting Hat for those abominations.

We must all face choice between what is right and what is easy.
~ Albus Dumbledore
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

I had to take matters into hand and give us all a viable Butterbeer option before Valdemort joined the fray and added even more nasty potions to the mix. So I grabbed my cocktail wand and cast a little chocolate spell and added some real spirits to the recipe.

Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress. Adventure.
~ Albus Dumbledore
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Harry Potter's
Great Goblet of

10 Oz.  Rogue Chocolate Stout, Icy Cold 
1 Oz. Jefferson's Bourbon,  Chilled
2 - 4 Tbsp. Butterbeer Simple Syrup
(Recipe below* The amount of syrup you use depends on whether you prefer to enjoy the bitterness of the stout or like a sweeter cocktail. Start with 2 tablespoons and add to taste.)
Dash of Sea Salt

Topping: Chocolate Bourbon Whipped Cream (Recipe below**)

Garnish: "Spell Glitter" (Wilton Edible Glitter, Gold Stars), Magic Wand Stir Stick

Tools: Cocktail Shaker

Glass: Large Goblet, Tankard or Beer Mug, Chilled

Fill the cocktail shaker with ice the add the bourbon and Butterbeer Simple Syrup.
Shake until chilled then strain into your chilled mug or goblet.
Add the chocolate stout, top with the Chocolate Bourbon Whipped Cream, garnish and serve.

Prefer a less potent version for those fledgling wizards in your house? Here's a magical but non-alcoholic version:

Harry Potter's
Great Goblet of
(Egg Cream)
(This one's for you "Little Pea"!)

10 Oz. Cream Soda, Icy Cold 
2 Tbsp. Torani Chocolate Syrup
1 Tbsp. Torani Butterscotch Syrup
1/3 Cup Whole Milk
2 Dashes Sea Salt

Topping: Whipped Cream

Garnish the same as the adult Butterbeer but use a different magic wand stir stick.

Pour the milk into an ice filled goblet. Slowly add the syrup, then gently add the cream soda. Using a long spoon, stir well, garnish and serve.

I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.
Phrase to work Maurauders Map
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

In a small sauce pan, mix together 1 tablespoon of turbinado sugar with 1 teaspoon of dark cocoa powder and 1/3 cup of chocolate stout. Mix in 2 tablespoons of Torani Butterscotch Syrup and a pinch of sea salt. Warm over medium heat until blended. Lower heat and reduce, stirring constantly, until the syrup coats the back of a spoon. (About 5 minutes.) Remove the pan from the heat and let cool. This will keep for a few weeks in the refrigerator and is great on ice cream and pancakes!

1 C. Heavy Cream
1/2 Tsp. Sugar
1/4 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/2 Tbsp. White Creme de Cacao 
1/2 Tbsp. Bourbon

Tools: Hand Mixer, Mixing Bowl
Chill all the ingredients, bowl and tools. Beat to soft peaks. Will keep for up to 2 days refrigerated.

Why don't we go and have a butterbeer in the Three Broomsticks, it's a bit cold, isn't it?
~ Hermione Granger
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

October 31,lst is the end of the First Wizarding War (October 31, 1981) and the first defeat of Voldemort and his Death Eaters by an infant Harry and the original Order of the Phoenix.
May 2nd is the anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts (May 2, 1998) where Voldemort was finally defeated by Harry, ending the Second Wizarding War.
July 31st is the birthday of Harry Potter and his creator, J.K. Rowling.





For all our troops, past and present, Thank you for your service and sacrifice while defending our freedoms and way of life.

The Mottoes of the branches of the United States Military:
United States Army: "This We'll Defend"
United States Coast Guard: "Semper Paratus"
United States Navy: "Honor, Courage, Commitment."
United States Marine Corps: "Semper Fidelis"
United States Air Force:"Aim High...Fly, Fight, Win"



Did you know that Happy Hour has its roots in military history?

There is actually something called the Coast Guard Cocktail, however this is not a drink but a nickname for sea sickness.


According to The U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs:
"World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” - officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”"

This is why we celebrate Veteran's Day every November 11th. Originally known as Armistice Day, November 11th was officially made a holiday on May 13, 1938, dedicated to world peace and to honor the soldiers of World War I. However, in 1954, after the sacrifice of troops during WWII and Korea, Congress changed "Armistice" to "Veterans" and November 11th became a day to honor American Veterans of all wars.

If there is some confusion as to what day Veteran's Day is celebrated make no mistake, according to the Department of Veteran's Affairs it is always November 11th:
"The Uniform Holiday Bill (Public Law 90-363 (82 Stat. 250)) was signed on June 28, 1968, and was intended to ensure three-day weekends for Federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. It was thought that these extended weekends would encourage travel, recreational and cultural activities and stimulate greater industrial and commercial production. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holidays on their original dates.

The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on October 25, 1971. It was quite apparent that the commemoration of this day was a matter of historic and patriotic significance to a great number of our citizens, and so on September 20th, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed Public Law 94-97 (89 Stat. 479), which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of November 11, beginning in 1978. This action supported the desires of the overwhelming majority of state legislatures, all major veterans service organizations and the American people.

Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good."

*It is interesting to note that our allies, Canada and Australia, also observe November 11th as a Remembrance Day for their troops.

As to why the poppy is associated with Veteran's Day, this poem by John McCrae should tell the story:

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders Fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.
~ John McCrae 1915


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