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Summer 2012 Host's Guide: Spirits of the Roaring Twenties

Never have Americans been more glamorous than during the years between 1919 and 1933, when their sobriety was ordered by the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Edwardian proprieties and regard for the law of the land were cast off by people from every walk of life; and, fueled by hooch in all its glorious forms—be it white lightning (bootleg liquor), brown plaid (Scotch whisky), bathtub gin, or Cuban rum—the 1920s roared behind the high walls of private estates from the Hamptons to the Hollywood Hills, and behind the discreetly nondescript doors of speakeasies. The cocktail culture that blossomed during that period changed the way Americans not only viewed the world, but also talked about it, as flappers, debs, and gangsters alike coined a litany of slang words and phrases (big cheese, crasher, crush, and gold-digger) still in use today. Happily, many of the drinks this carefree generation imbibed are enjoying a revival, thanks to the talents of modern mixologists and the efforts of distillers, many of whom have begun to produce spirits in styles popular during the speakeasy era. Following is our selection of spirits and cocktails of the Jazz Age, guaranteed to make your summer parties swing—and get your guests zozzled.

Photo by Cordero Studios/www.corderostudios.com
Photo by Cordero Studios/www.corderostudios.com
Photo by Cordero Studios/www.corderostudios.com
Photo by Cordero Studios/www.corderostudios.com