Happy Repeal Day!! Today marks the 81st anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition. Here's a classic cocktail from that era to party like it's 1933 and celebrate your right to imbibe.
The Southside is a simple, straightforward cocktail pairing gin with citrus, mint, and sugar -basically like a gin mojito. There seem to be a myriad of stories about its exact origins. I've read that it originated at NYC's 21 Club, a famous speakeasy during prohibition, complete with a "disappearing" bar (which dropped all the bottles of liquor down a chute at the pull of a lever) and a hidden wine cellar in an adjacent building. Or that it first showed up around the same time at a place called the Southside Sportsmen's Club of Long Island, for shwanky New York businessmen who fished and hunted there, where this minty cocktail evolved from their famous mint juleps. The third story, my personal favorite although evidently the least likely, is that it was invented on the south side of Chicago, where it became Al Capone's drink of choice after bartenders began using sugar and citrus to mask the terrible flavor of the bootlegged spirit forced upon them by the south side gang.
But let me cut to the chase here and say, whether posh New Yorkers first sipped them at their club on Long Island or Al Capone favored them first in 1920's Chicago, the fact remains today that this cocktail is delicious and refreshing.
In true speakeasy spirit, we even made our own gin! You can too - just click here for our (fast and easy) instructions. We also tossed in a few cranberries to match the cocktail to the season a bit.
Find a printable recipe here.
Happy Friday - and cheers to the 21st Amendment!
(all photos, jamie grill photography)