The Ultimate Speakeasy Cocktail Guide: Celebrating in true ‘Old Sport’ style.


A time of legendary fashion and illegal drinking in speakeasies during prohibition, some of the best cocktails came out of these dry times, becoming timeless favourites that will tantalise all taste buds. The Roaring 20’s was an intoxicating motion picture full of vibrant colours, rebellion and glamour.

So why not host a dinner party with these simple cocktails and celebrate in true ‘old sport’ style? With our beaded flapper headpieces, cocoon (faux) fur coats, and wool tweed men’s suits, we take a look at some 20s inspired cocktails with a variety of spirits that pack a punch that you can create at home to kickstart the roaring 20s!

Gin: The Last Word

A sweet yet sharp delight with a subtle green hue, this cocktail is ideal for those with a taste for a sweet, citrus fix. Requiring few ingredients, the complex mix of herbal, tangy flavours was created at the Detroit Athletic Club in the 1920s and spread across the country by vaudeville performer Frank Fogarty.


  • 45ml of your favourite gin
  • 15ml Green Chartreuse
  • 15ml Maraschino liqueur
  • 15ml fresh lime juice


  • Mix the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously
  • Strain into a chilled Martini glass
  • Add either fresh cherries or a wedge of lime for garnish

Gin: Bee’s Knees

Something of excellence, this sweet, citrus cocktail was concocted to mask the smell and taste of prohibition bathtub gin. Although created to improve the taste of a bitter and less-than-pleasant homemade gin, the potential this recipe has with good quality gin speaks for itself.


  • 50ml of your favourite gin
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 20ml fresh lemon juice
  • 20ml fresh orange juice


  • Add gin and honey to a shaker and stir until the honey dissolves
  • Add the lemon and orange juice with ice and shake well
  • Strain into a Martini glass
  • Garnish with an orange zest twist

Rum: Mary Pickford

Born at the Hotel Nacional de Cuba for silent movie star Mary Pickford during prohibition, this pale pink cocktail is mellow and sweet, balanced between the succulent fruity flavours and punch of the rum.


  • 60ml of your favourite white rum
  • 45ml pineapple juice
  • 7.5ml of grenadine syrup
  • 5ml of Maraschino liqueur


  • Mix the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake hard
  • Strain into a chilled Martini glass
  • Garnish with cherries

Brandy: Sidecar

A 20’s classic, this cocktail encapsulates that a true sour should taste like. The origin of this zesty cocktail is debated — this was created in perhaps Buck’s Club in London or Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, when someone arrived at a bar in a sidecar and the bartender crafted a drink appropriate for that time of day. Whatever the story is behind it, we’re certain that this is one of the best.


  • 45ml of your favourite Cognac
  • 22ml Cointreau
  • 22ml fresh lemon juice


  • Coat the rim of a chilled coupe glass with sugar
  • Add ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake
  • Strain into the prepared glass
  • Garnish with an orange zest twist

Vodka: South Side

Enjoyed by the infamous Al Capone and his gang, this tipple has earned its righteous place in prohibition history — suspected to be named after the well-known Chicago district where the gangster ruled.


  • 60ml of your favourite gin
  • 30ml freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 15ml sugar syrup
  • Fresh mint leaves


  • Mix the ingredients, including the mint leaves, in a shaker with ice. Shake to bruise the leaves
  • Strain into a chilled Martini glass
  • Garnish with mint sprig

So, there we have some of the most iconic 1920’s cocktails that are still very popular today. Get your glad rags on and throw your own Gatsby party!

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