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15 Retro ’40s cocktails that you’re going to love


Retro cocktails are coming back in a big way. Get a fake back-seamed-stocking leg up on the trend by checking out these post-Prohibition cocktails from the 1940s.

1. French 75

french 75

Image: MixThatDrink

Once the toast of celebrities and aristocrats at the legendary Stork Club, the French 75 is a Champagne cocktail named after the French 75 mm field gun and its powerful kick.

2. Ward 8

ward 8

Image: ReeseCLloyd/Flickr

A light and lively take on the classic sour, the Ward 8 appears to have been named in honor of the election of staunch Prohibitionist Martin B. Lomasney to Massachusetts’ 8th Congressional District in Boston.

3. Sidecar


Image: MixThatDrink

Like many drinks, the precise origin of the sidecar is lost to history, but this simple yet tasty cognac drink is said to have been invented at the Ritz hotel in Paris after the growing popularity of the motorcycle sidecar.

4. Ramos fizz

Ramos fizz

Image: ReeseCLloyd/Flickr

At one point, Henry C. Ramos had 32 people on staff on the floor of his popular Imperial Cabinet saloon just to shake this famous New Orleans fizz, which took 12 minutes to mix and “cook” the egg whites in gin.

5. Millionaire cocktail

Millionaire cocktail

Image: Dave Drinks

The “millionaire cocktail” is really a group of Prohibition-era drinks with ingredients that vary dramatically from bar to bar, but the original millionaire cocktail No. 1 involves sloe gin, apricot brandy and Jamaican rum.

6. Green dragon

Green dragon

Image: Swizzzlestick

Like bright colors in the natural world, this bright green cocktail should serve as a warning for the uninitiated. Combining crème de menthe with the herbal liqueur kümmel, the juniper flavors of gin and orange bitters can make for an intimidating first sip when it comes to the green dragon.

7. Punch Romaine (Roman punch)

Punch Romaine (Roman punch)


Now mixed as a more traditional punch, this favorite of popes and presidents was more of a sorbet or shaved ice. Sadly, this drink is also noted for its small part in a greater tragedy. Punch Romaine was the sixth of 10 courses for first-class passengers of the Titanic.

8. Gin rickey

Gin Ricky

Image: The King’s Lettuce

The gin rickey is the only cocktail mentioned in The Great Gatsby and was reportedly F. Scott Fitzgerald’s favorite drink.

9. Between the Sheets

Between the Sheets

Image White on Rice Couple

Also called a Maiden’s Prayer, the Between the Sheets cocktail is another Prohibition-era drink made from brandy and rum that eventually led to modern shooters such as Slippery Nipples and Screaming Orgasms.

10. Grasshopper


Image: MixThatDrink

Unsurprisingly, more than a few drinks have been created in New Orleans, and the grasshopper is no exception. Tujague’s finally found crème de menthe a home in this creamy mint and chocolate dream.

11. Pimm’s Cup

pimm's cup

Image: MixThatDrink

The traditional drink of Wimbledon was a fruity, spiced gin liqueur created by James Pimm in his English oyster bar. The exact recipe is a secret to all but six people even to this day. It’s available as a gin, whiskey, brandy, rum, rye whiskey and vodka — denoted by their numbers (Pimm’s No. 1 is gin). A Pimm’s Cup is an even fruitier drink made of that liqueur.

12. Southside

Southside cocktail

Image: Inspired Taste

Despite an entertaining Tommy-gun-toting gangster history, this refreshing gin and mint drink was probably just a natural evolution of the South Side Sportsman’s Club’s famous mint juleps in Long Island, New York.

13. Dubonnet cocktail

Dubonnet Cocktail

Image: add1sun/Flickr

The winner of a government-sponsored contest to make malaria-fighting quinine more palatable for French legionnaires, the Dubonnet cocktail is made from gin and a French fortified wine aperitif. The legionnaires didn’t have to drink alone, however; the queen mother and her daughter held the drink in high regard.

14. Aviation cocktail

Aviation cocktail

Image: Jelly Toast

Many versions of the nearly forgotten gin drink, the aviation cocktail, incorrectly omit the obscure violet liqueur crème de violette, made from the Queen Charlotte and March violets found in the Austrian Alps, which impart an inimitable fragrance and taste.

15. Vesper

vesper cocktail

Image: Jelly Toast

Before his martinis were shaken — not stirred — James Bond ordered an unnamed martini of his own creation made with Lillet and lemon in Casino Royale. One chapter later, the Vesper found its name when Bond met the beautiful femme fatale, Vesper Lynd.

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