70th Anniversary of Prohibition Repeal December 5th Brings Revival of Classic Cocktails with a Twist New York City – December 3, 2003- As the 70th anniversary of Prohibition Repeal arrives this Friday, December 5th, classic cocktails are making a huge comeback in style bars, restaurants and night clubs across the country. But, these cocktails are classics with a twist, the Distilled Spirits Council says! Julie Reiner, of the Flatiron Lounge in New York City, with its Art Deco interior and 30-foot mahogany bar, wanted to create a lounge with a cocktail experience that has class, style and elegance of the pre-Prohibition cocktail era. Her cocktail menu reflects that retro style, with a special section featuring updated versions of the classics with preparations like the Apple Manhattan. ‘I use my knowledge and preparation of classic cocktails but create different versions with fresh ingredients and quality products that are available today” says Reiner. “Our customers really enjoy trying our specialty drinks and will end up sharing and tasting each others to get the full experience of our list.” At Nerve Lounge in Miami Beach, Michael Bourbeau said “We’ve put a lot of emphasis on creating a cocktail menu that will capture the imagination of customers seeking the hottest cocktails, and will also deliver the taste and sophistication of the classic cocktails that started it all. Our Floridita is a cocktail that we take a lot of pride in.” This was writer Ernest Hemingway’s favorite libation at his regular Havana, Cuba haunt El Floridita. In Washington D.C., patrons at Five Lounge are moving beyond the vodka martini trend to explore updated takes on classic cocktails in other categories noted bartender Lucie Medek. “Cocktails like the Rob Roy, Side Car and Manhattan became classics for a reason, but at the same time, my customers want the latest take on things so we aim for innovation on our drinks menu. To create a more aromatic Side Car, we’ve taken to flaming our orange peels which really brings out their essence.” “As you can see taste, presentation and the quality of fresh ingredients are all common threads with mixologists today as they reinvent these pre-Prohibition-era classics” says Shawn Starbuck Kelley, of the Distilled Sprits Council. “The trend to the classics was inevitable. To some extent, popular cocktails are cyclical, but ultimately it’s about flavor, and these modern takes on the classics are really an extension of great tasting drinks of the past.” Even in wine country people are enjoying classic cocktails. At Market in St Helena, in California’s Napa Valley there cocktail list has 4 special sections; Classic Cocktails, Modern Martinis, Specialty Cocktails and Favorite Winter Drinks for the season. Try their Old Fashioned with muddled brandied cherries and Bourbon. Nick Peyton, the general manager says “even winemakers like to enjoy a cocktail, especially an updated classic.” It has taken America 70 years to bring back the cocktail culture that was thriving before Prohibition. Now the art of mixology has found its niche again in American culture, and will continue to flourish with the creation of new cocktails and modern takes on the classics. Following are two classics with a twist and two true blue classics. Recipes: Apple Manhattan by David Marsden 1 oz. Bourbon .5 oz. Berentzens apple liqueur Thin slice of Granny Smith for garnish Stir ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass Holiday Side Car – Five Lounge 1 oz. brandy .5 oz. orange liquor .75 oz. fresh lemon juice Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass with a red and green sugared rim. Garnish with a twist of flamed orange peel. Floridita Daiquiri – Nerve Lounge 1.5 oz. white rum .25 oz/ maraschino liquor .5 oz/ fresh grapefruit juice .75 oz. simple syrup .75 oz. lime juice Shake all ingredients with cracked ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lime wedge. Colony Cocktail (from The Colony, a former speakeasy in New York City) 1.5 oz gin .75 oz grapefruit 2 tsp maraschino Shake well with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass With the holiday season approaching, Council spokeswoman Shawn Starbuck Kelley reminds everyone to enjoy the classics responsibly, a message as true today as it has been for decades.