Youth and Beauty: Cocktail Celebrations in Cleveland

In celebration of Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties, Fire! Food & Drink, Great Lakes Brewing Company, L’Albatros, and Table 45 have created signature cocktails to be served at their restaurants. Fire! Food & Drink is presenting a scrumptious happy hour special – a Chartreuse Swizzle cocktail served with deviled eggs, house made ham, and croustade ($20). Great Lakes Brewing Company is highlighting their historic bar and the City of Cleveland’s connections to the “untouchable” Eliot Ness, with their Eliot Ness inspired Manhattan. L’Albatros will be serving the Green Lady, a colorful twist on the classic Twenties cocktail, Pink Lady. Table 45 is mixing up several Youth and Beauty inspired drin! ks with The “Bearcat” Beer Cat, “On the Level” Martini, and “Orchid”. All are sure to have you speaking Twenties slang by the end of the night. These delightful drinks and hors d’oeuvres are the perfect way to round out your experience after visiting Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties.

Cocktails and Cigarettes Punch Bowl. designed by Viktor Schreckengost (American, 1906-2008). made by Cowan Pottery Studio. Date: 1931.

The cocktail has been a part of American social life since at least the 19th century; its first heyday was actually from about 1890 to 1912, during the Gilded Age. But the cocktail culture of the 1920s, with its jazz clubs, “gin joints,” and exotic recipes, was really spurred on by Prohibition: the bootleg alcohol being produced at the time was practically undrinkable, so people started mixing it with a slew of other ingredients to mask the harsh flavor and high ethanol content. Prohibition-era drinkers would gather at places called speakeasies – a catch-all term for any establishment that served alcohol during the ban. A speakeasy could be anything from a run-down tenement bar to New York’s lavish 21 Club, although lower-end places were sometimes called “blind pigs” instead. (21, one of the era’s most famous speakeasies, was equipped with multiple bars, a world-class kitchen, a dance floor, and an orchestra.) The name “speakeasy” comes from the hushed tones that patrons had to use when ordering alcohol; plus, they typically had to whisper a code word through a hole in the door in order to get in. Cocktails weren’t only found where liquor was outlawed, though. The cocktail fad also took off in Europe, particularly in cities that attracted a lot of expat Americans. Ernest Hemingway loved to hang out at Harry’s Bar in Paris, which was the spot of choice for many well-known writers, celebrities, and even a few royals. (Owner Harry MacElhone, known as one of the best bartenders in the world, published his book, “Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails,” in the early 1920s.) Signature cocktails from the Jazz Age include the Sidecar (Hemingway’s favorite drink), the French 75 (supposedly, it hits you like the 75mm field gun used by the French in WWI), the Mary Pickford (named for one of the era’s favorite film stars, a.k.a. “America’s sweetheart”), the Monkey Gland, and the White Lady (both Harry’s creations). - Therese Conway Advertising Assistant      


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