Sweet (and Sour) Drinks and the “Sweet Science”

After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.

Section 1, Amendment XVIII, Constitution of the United States

Earlier this month (January 16th) we passed the 93rd anniversary of the day the Volstead Act went fully into effect. Of course, as history tell us, passage of the Eighteenth Amendment did little to prevent drinking in the United States. Rather, it created a booming underground (or bathtub or garage or shack or hillside…you get the point) business. When it comes to Prohibition history, there are some amazing pieces of cocktail ephemera out there. Today’s feature is a playful example, and a a recent addition to our collection. 

The front of the card includes a list of cocktails common in the 1920s and 1930s across the top and a list of ingredients down the left side. The clever design allows you to select a drink and display the contents (spirits, flavors, and garnishes) in the visible column. Although the columns don’t line up perfectly, you can get the general idea. The Fedora includes 1 part Bacardi (or other rum), 2 parts brandy, 2 parts curacao, 1 part rye, 1 dash of lemon juice,  and 2 teaspoons of powdered sugar served in a medium glass with a straw and fruit garnish. But, of course, since this item dates to about 1931, as the card carefully states, the ingredients “are flavors and non-alcoholic.” In the second image above, you can the complexities of the tiny card.

Our example of the Fedora has come a long way since the 1930s. In the modern era, you might see this drink called Fedora Punch (and even that could lead to a lengthy debate on whether it qualifies as a traditional punch or not!). There are many variations of a modern drink called the Fedora (either Scotch or bourbon based, for the most part) and most with fewer ingredients, but all appearing to stem from our 1931 example and its predecessors.

And of course, like many pieces of cocktail ephemera, it has some kind of tie to the a world of fun and frivolity. The image on the front, depicting groups of festive, singing gentlemen ( imbibing non-alcoholic flavorings ONLY, you recall) is just the kind of crowd who might be in the market to see a fight. Precisely the kind of entertainment a boxing promoter might be able to provide.

When your next social event arises, Hazel 7022 may no longer be in service, but at least you can have a good cocktail in hand. Cheers!

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One thought on “Sweet (and Sour) Drinks and the “Sweet Science”

  1. Pingback: Dial-a-Drink? | What's Cookin' @ Special Collections?!

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