Happy Repeal!: 80th Anniversary OPEN THREAD and Cocktail Recipe Swap

In a semi-regular segment entitled Liquor In The ______, I’m going to write to you about all the different ways you can liquor. I recognize that it’s weird, especially for those of you who have actually had a drink with me, because I am what the frat boys would call a “two-beer queer” (what I would call a “no-beer queer,” as I’m gay all the live long day). But I get drunk very easily, is the point. Still, I really really like beer, wine and liquor and want to share that love for the artistry of alcohol with you all, my favorite queers. Let’s lift a pint to alcohol and our Autostraddle community – they go together like wine and soft cheese.

Header by Rory Midhani



What repeal am I talking about? The Repeal of the 18th Amendment, of course! The 18th Amendment was the harbinger of a very dark time in US history: Prohibition.

That there is a picture of all the liquor being poured out the window of an illegal Chicago distillery. Just FYI. Now also, don’t get me wrong, I’m not claiming that Prohibition was a dark time in history because we couldn’t drink. I’m claiming that because of what it caused and what it represented. What it caused: corrupt government, a shadow economy big enough to compete with the legit one, thousands of health-related issues and deaths due to poisoning. What it represented: hella flawed logic, a real case of government overreach, the end of a lot of craft and tradition. If you’re not familiar with the history of the Temperance Movement and Prohibition, here’s the beloved and esteemed Rachel Maddow talking about it (and also giving out some related life advice):


I’ve already told you why exactly I love the art of making drinks – the history and craft behind it (and maybe also to either be best friends with or become Rachel Maddow). And I’ve already shared a lot of my favorite drink recipes with you (and I will continue to do so!).

Chicagoans celebrate the repeal of Prohibition at the Congress Hotel, 1933. via KPBS

Chicagoans celebrate the repeal of Prohibition at the Congress Hotel, 1933. via KPBS

But today, my liquor-loving queermos, today it is your turn. Today, I am asking you, as an 80th Anniversary present to the art of liquor, to share your favorite drinks in the comments. Pictures appreciated.

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A.E. Osworth

A.E. Osworth is part-time Faculty at The New School, where they teach undergraduates the art of digital storytelling. Their novel, We Are Watching Eliza Bright, about a game developer dealing with harassment (and narrated collectively by a fictional subreddit), is forthcoming from Grand Central Publishing (April 2021) and is available for pre-order now. They have an eight-year freelancing career and you can find their work on Autostraddle (where they used to be the Geekery Editor), Guernica, Quartz, Electric Lit, Paper Darts, Mashable, and drDoctor, among others.

A.E. has written 542 articles for us.


  1. Some of my favorite recipes from my mom’s online cookbook:



    1 1/4 ounce tequila

    1 ounce Bols Triple Sec

    1 1/2 ounce fresh lemon or lime juice

    1 tablespoon simple syrup (I like Trader Joe’s or make your own, below)

    1/2 cup cracked ice

    kosher salt

    cocktail shaker


    Salt rim of glass by rubbing citrus rind on edge and dipping into kosher salt. Shake off excess.

    Put tequila, citrus juice, simple syrup, and triple sec into cocktail shaker with the ice. Shake for 15 seconds and pour entire contents into glass with salted rim.

    This recipe is best as written. Do not substitute Bols Triple Sec- it has just the right amount of sweetness. Not recommended for frozen Margarita.

    To make your own simple syrup- 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar, bring it to a boil for a few minutes, cool.
    Serving Suggestions
    Fresh citrus is the key- the restaurant actually uses lemons because they are juicier.

    Recipe Origin
    Maria’s Restaurant- Santa Fe

    Blackberry gin Fizz


    1 cup fresh blackberries

    2 tablespoons sugar

    Canada Dry Ginger Ale (sugar free ok)

    fresh squeezed lime juice

    ice cubes

    highball glasses



    Puree the blackberries and sugar in a blender. Push mixture through a fine strainer by pressing with a silicone spatula or back of a large spoon so you have 3/4 cup of blackberry puree without seeds.

    For each drink- Put three ice cubes in a tall glass. Add 2 tablespoons of blackberry puree, 1 tablespoon lime juice, and 1 1/2 ounces of gin. Fill glass up with ginger ale and stir.


    Pisco Sour with Passion Fruit


    2 ounces Pisco (Peruvian or Chilean)

    1 ounce maracuya concentrate or 2 tablespoons frozen passion fruit pulp

    1 to 1 1/2 ounces simple syrup

    1 ouncle fresh squeezed lime juice

    1 tablespoon egg white

    5 ice cubes

    dash of agnostura bitters


    Mix all ingredients except bitters in a blender and mix at high speed until smooth and frothy, about 3 minutes.

    Pour into an old-fashioned glass and put a few drops of bitters on top. Swirl with a straw and serve.

    I buy pasteurized egg whites and freeze them in ice cube trays. I add 1 cube per drink in place of the egg white and 1 ice cube.

    You can leave out the maracuya if you prefer a traditional Pisco sour.

    Serving Suggestions
    Great with spicy appetizers.

  2. Oh gosh. I’m so unfancy, but so far my favorites are simple little things, like apple cider mixed with caramel vodka– when i had that the first time, i couldn’t even taste the alcohol; it just tasted like caramel apples. So good.

    The other one is just Sprite mixed with this, i think passionfruit? flavored vodka called OR-G. My friends & i, being the mature people we are, giggled ourselves silly the first time we saw it, & then promptly bought it. It’s kind of pricey, but it’s really good & i like it, & it’s always fun to tell people the name of it. :D

  3. I’ve been drinking a lot of honey chamomile hot toddys lately, which makes me sound fancy but it’s honestly just chamomile tea with honey and Jameson in it. It’s extra delicious if you add orange or lemon slices.

  4. Oh this is the open thread where my cocktail nerdery gets to shine!

    Favorite classic cocktail to make at home: Right now, it’s the Army & Navy.
    2 oz. dry gin
    1/2 oz. orgeat
    1/2 oz. lemon
    dash angostura bitters
    Shake, strain, serve in a coupe (or, if it’s me at home and I’m being lazy, pour everything into a rocks glass, stir with a finger, add ice).

    Favorite classic cocktail to order out: the Martinez
    1 1/2 oz. old tom gin (genever works too; dry gin doesn’t)
    1 1/2 oz. sweet vermouth
    barspoon maraschino liqueur
    dash or two bitters, angostura or orange
    Stir, strain, serve in a coupe. There’s a number of historical recipes you can use, and depending on what vermouth you’re using and your personal tastes, you may want to tweak the proportions.

    Favorite cocktail recipe I wrote myself that actually was on the menu at a bar: Hello Rain
    1 oz. dry gin
    1 oz. Maurin Quina
    1/2 oz. Branca Menta
    Dash orange bitters
    Dash Fee Bros. old fashioned bitters (or angostura would be fine)
    Stir, strain, serve in a coupe.

    Gonna stop now before I just post a couple dozen cocktail recipes, seriously I have hundreds handy

      • Honestly if you want to nerd out hard, I have to seriously recommend cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com. Tons of recipes, most of which come from classic books or solid craft bartenders, and well tagged for easy browsing!

    • do you prefer to make or buy orgeat? i’ve been considering a DIY version, but am also lazy/hibernating

      • I’ve meant to try making it myself for a long time, and when I still worked at a bar, there was a failed attempt based on the recipe I’d been planning to use… So I’ve got a bottle of Fee Brothers that I’ve been using at home. I’m told it’s less nutty than other varieties, including homemade, but it’s more than adequate for my needs. (My home cocktail making is a fairly lazy affair)

  5. I like all kinds of whiskey drinks, but I have this lemon-basil-bourbon concoction that I like to make a lot. I do 1 part lemon juice, 1 part limoncello and 2 parts bourbon with some fresh basil, shake it and strain it into a cocktail glass. Its whiskey sour-esque, but with a little basil flavor. I call it a Spaghetti Western, which kind of amuses me but is apparently not funny to anyone else :). Its delicious!

  6. Thank you for this! It’s such an interesting part of our history and the repeal is a thing I’m extra thankful for. I’m currently studying for the BJCP exam and it’s really cool learning about how brewing and beer styles developed and changed before, during, and after prohibition. Some of the pre-prohibition styles are even starting to make a comeback now.

    Nowadays most of my drink recipes are home brews that I have to wait 4-6 weeks to enjoy, but I recently soaked cocoa nibs in bourbon for a stout and of course saved some to try. Delicious! I imagine these would be an excellent addition to an espresso martini ;)

    • I had to look up BJCP & woooaaahhhhhhhh but that sounds seriously awesome! What kind of pre-prohibition kinds of beer are starting to come back? I’m curious now c:

      (i am also drinking beer right now, so i’m super happy someone mentioned it? Can’t believe i’d forgotten to, whoopsie)

      • It’s pretty awesome, but also super intense! There is soooooo much information to keep track of.

        Some of the styles that are returning are Classic American Pilsners (though mostly popular with home brewers and much less commercial), Cream Ales (which are a bit less hoppy and not as strong these days), and I’ve heard of some brewers trying to replicate the Classic American Lager style (though it hasn’t caught on as well to my knowledge).

        If you enjoy beer, you should check out the BJCP style guidelines. They offer free iOS & android app versions, and even if you aren’t interested in judging its a great way to quick reference a style and learn new things to try out!

        • Haaa, i bet! That sounds intimidating.

          And that’s so cool! Are they mostly coming back as home brews, or are they showing up at liquor stores & stuff (with the exception of the pilsners, like you already mentioned)? Sorry for asking so many questions; i want to try kind-of-historic drinks hha |D (I always feel excited by drinks like Midas Touch, that are based off of stuff archaeologists have found.)

          Oooh, i’ll do that! : D Thank you!

      • Sorry I forgot to get back to this thread!! It won’t let me comment on your comment below so this seems as good a place as any. Typically those styles seem to be more of a home brew thing. I love that you mention Midas Touch though! Dogfish is great for revisiting historical styles from all over and putting their own spin on them. Plus a lot of styles never went away during Prohibition since they weren’t American styles to being with.

        Never apologize for asking beer questions…beer nerds love to answer them! When in doubt, just wander a bit aimlessly through an aisle of your local bottle shop and someone is bound to point you in a good direction :)

  7. If I have the money.
    Hemmingway’s Dream

    1 1/4 shots absinthe(I like the French and Austrian stuff not a fan of the American brand).
    A little over an oz of lemon-lime juice(chilled if so desired)
    3 cubes of sugar
    6 mint leaves(more the better I am told)
    put in a shaker and shake slowly for a few seconds then strain into martini or cocktail glass.

  8. I used to make cocktails for a restaurant in Ecuador, land of fresh fruits and aguardiente, so here’s some local recipes I learned:

    This is a popular cocktail made from limes and rum. It’s super sweet which masks the alcohol. I can suck these down SO quickly.
    You can also substitute vodka for rum and it becomes a Caiparoska.

    3 limes cut into 8ths (Cut in half. cut in half again. cut in half again.)
    2 tablespoons of sugar
    1-2 shots of rum/vodka

    Mash the limes however you can. Mix with sugar, alcohol, and ice in a cocktail shaker and shake. You’re not supposed to take out the lime skin or seeds, so don’t do that.

    This is a traditional Ecuadorian drink from the Andes region. It’s normally made with aguardiente (sugar cane alcohol) but I haven’t been able to find any in the US. I think the best substitute is probably rum. We also used to make it with passion fruit mixed in to make it extra-special, but I haven’t been able to find any in my small town, so. But if you can find some passion fruit concentrate (look for maracuya if you’re going to a latino market) just mix that in at the beginning and it will be so delicious.

    6 cups water
    8 cinnamon sticks
    2-3 whole cloves (optional)
    1 cup brown sugar

    Boil the water and the cinnamon/cloves and the sugar. Let it simmer for 30-45 minutes (or if you’re lazy, 15 min). Pour it into mugs, making sure to strain out the chunks, mix in some alcohol and enjoy!

  9. I saw the words cocktail swap and got sooo excited!
    Alright I have two drinks for you. The first is a GIN hot toddy.
    2 oz. gin
    2-3 dashes orange bitters
    A sugarcube (or a tsp of whatever sweetener)
    Boiling water in the rest of the space in the glass
    I was really nervous about the idea of hot gin at first, but it is like a delicious Christmas tree in your mouth (but maybe that’s not something everyone’s into? idk idk)

    Also, one time I took some gin and put some Earl Grey leaves in it for like an hour, then strained them out and it was a happy situation for old fashions (sans muddled fruits).

  10. 1. when it’s 10*F out and you can’t find your house slippers:
    hot toddy. bourbon, hot darjeeling, local honey, half a lemon. stir together and shiver in the fetal position. maybe cry a little, and one tear freezes on your cheek

    2. when you want to gain 5 lbs in one night: chocolate gin. heavy whipping cream, any sort of liquid or powdered chocolate, tanqueray. shake well w ice, and scrape out the shaker as you will also have your arteries scraped out in a few years’ time.

    3. go-to classic cocktail: the sazerac. rye, pastis/absinthe if you can get it, brown-sugar-simple-syrup and bitters (preferably grapefruit bitters). do a lil shimmy while you shake it and impress all the hot gender wizards bc the sazerac is classy as hell.

    • The sazerac is my all time favorite cocktail on planet earth. Nay. The universe. And yet somehow I have managed to not write a liquor in the _______ about them. Maybe I should change this?

      • If you do, please note that at bars I’ve worked at, we’ve definitely noticed people ordering them as “sassy racks”. Just saying.

  11. My favourite cocktail is from a local speakeasy themed bar;

    The Hey Arnold
    Black tea infused gin, lemon, spiced local honey syrup, Lillet Blanc

    But my favourite drink that doesn’t take a night out and ten dollars, is the good old Gin Fizz. The favourite drink of F Scott Fitzgerald, so it’s good enough for me!

    Gin Fizz
    Gin, Lemon, Sugar, Soda
    Easy peasy and deliciously refreshing! Can you tell I like gin?

  12. Grapefruit margarita

    2 parts grapefruit juice (from an actual grapefruit)
    2 parts triple sec (or cointreau)
    2 parts tequila
    1 part lime juice (from an actual lime)

    It’s not that different from a normal margarita, but grapefruits are my favorite citrus so this is how I make them.

    • I kind of want to try this because Cotton Candy vodka makes me automatically want to hate it?, but maybe you found a way to make it delicious?

  13. The Brooklyn. (credit to Legum L. for teaching me the recipe.)

    You put one to three bing cherries into a rocks glass and mash them up.
    Add ice.
    Add bourbon.
    Add simple syrup.
    Top it off with bitters.
    (And if you’re anything like me, you’ll put in a dash of the cherry syrup, from the cherry jar)

    Stir it together.

    I’m not big on measuring. Just feel it out. If it’s too smoky, add syrup; too sweet, add bitters; too spicy, add bourbon.

    • Not to be super-pedantic, but, that’s not a Brooklyn – that’s an old fashioned, with muddled cherries. A Brooklyn is a Manhattan variation, using rye, dry vermouth, maraschino liqueur, and amer picon (which is an orange based liqueur that’s pretty hard to get these days; it’s much less sweet than triple sec/curaçao/etc).

      Okay I feel like a jerk now – but cocktail names matter, you guys! Especially if you’re going to order these drinks out, you should get what you’re expecting and expect what you’re getting.

  14. This is not completely germane to the post and I apologize, but “The Roaring Twenties” was on TV like 3-4 nights ago and I was wondering why. I guess the anniversary of the repeal of prohibition?

  15. I dig cocktails. I dig liquor. But nothing hits the spot, quite like beer.

    I’m a beer geek through and through, and only recently dipping my tongue tentatively in the realms of wine and fancy (non-bar rail) booze like boutique distilled moonshine, aquavit, white dog, etc.

    Winter’s the time for creamy stouts, body-warming imperial ales, nose-tingling spiced brews, and there’s always room for more crisp and clear lagers to cut through the rich holiday meals.

    The idea of this thread makes me happy :)

    • Yes!! Winter beers aren’t my favorite, but I’ve found some great ones this year. Anderson’s (solar powered) brewery makes a Winter Solstice ale that is outstanding!!! Cheers!

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