The classic American cult novel, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, celebrates its 95th anniversary this year. As anyone who has seen the motion picture will attest, the story depicts an intoxicating time full of vibrant colours, glamour and rebellion; a time of legendary fashion and illicit parties held in speakeasies. Indeed, some of the best cocktails came out of these dry times, becoming timeless favourites still beloved today.

With the spirit of the roaring 20s in mind, 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 tuxedos firmly donned, and with the music of the Jazz Age playing, we welcome you to the IDEAL speakeasy. Here are 5 quick and easy cocktail recipes for your Great Gatsby party.

GIN: THE LAST WORD

A sharp, yet sweet delight with a subtle green hue, this cocktail is ideal for those with a taste for a sweet, citrus fix. Requiring just a 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. Here’s the last word on the Last Word cocktail:

Ingredients

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

Method

  • 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

This sweet, citrus cocktail was concocted to mask the smell and taste of prohibition bathtub gin. Although created to improve a bitter and less-than-pleasant homemade gin, the potential this recipe has when made with good quality gin speaks for itself. This drink is, indeed, the Bee’s Knees.

Ingredients

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

Method

  • 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

Originating at the Hotel Nacional de Cuba, and made for silent movie star Mary Pickford during prohibition, this pale pink cocktail is mellow and sweet, striking a fine balance between the succulent fruity flavours and punch of the rum.

Ingredients

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

Method

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

BRANDY: SIDECAR

A 1920’s classic, this cocktail encapsulates precisely what a true sour should taste like. The origin of this zesty cocktail is debated; was it created in the Buck’s Club in London or perhaps Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, when someone arrived at the joint in a sidecar and the bartender crafted a drink appropriate for their entrance? Whatever the story is behind it, we’re certain that this is one of the best.

Ingredients

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

Method

  • 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: SOUTHSIDE

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

Ingredients

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

Method

  • 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. We assume our invite’s in the post?