Diageo Reserve World Class Special from Speakeasies to 1950s
Speakeasies were glamorous underground nightclubs in America that sprang up as a result of Prohibition, which lasted from January 1920 until December 1933. Even though they are credited with changing the face of American bars, they did little to contribute to the craft of making cocktails.
Since these nightclubs were illegal, the focus was on packing as much alcohol into as little space as possible, so customers usually drank straight Whiskey, or Whiskey and ginger ale, and they also drank lots of Gin, since cheap Gin was relatively easy to make in a bathtub.
It was during this time that the Dry Gin Martini became drier and drier since more Gin and less Vermouth fulfilled the speakeasy's aims of packing more alcohol into every glass.
The other major change that occurred in America during the reign of the old speakeasies was that, for the very first time, it became acceptable for women to go out to bars, thus transforming the American bar scene forever.
After the repeal of Prohibition, the bars of America reopened, but many of the skills of the old bartenders had been forgotten. The new breed knew only how to mix Rum with cola, very dry Martinis, and perhaps a half a dozen other basic cocktails.
Regardless, drinks such as the Gin Martini, Manhattan, Rob Roy and a few others eventually became status symbols in the USA. By the time the 50s rolled around, it had become very stylish to be able to make and drink the driest Martinis possible. Bartenders were also proud of their well-crafted classics that made it through the Great Drought and emerged on the other side—transformed into cocktails that represented stylish lifestyles.
DRY MARTINI (5:1 ratio )
- 1.25 oz. TANQUERAY No. TEN Gin
- .25 oz. Dry Vermouth
- 4 drops orange bitters (optional)
Garnish: Olive or lemon twist
Method: Stir all ingredients over ice then strain into chilled glass