It’s near perfect irony that the highly crafted cocktail came of age during the time when our country tried its hardest to get people not to drink. During the era of Prohibition, spanning the years 1920 through 1933, cocktails came into the height of fashion in the underground speakeasies and at private parties, when strong flavors were imparted to cover the harsh tinge of bootleggers’ bathtub booze. And, of course, these very kind of parties were the centerpiece of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. With a new film treatment of the iconic jazz age novel just out from director Baz Luhrmann, Gatsby and cocktails are once again in the public consciousness.
In Gatsby Cocktails: Classic Cocktails from The Jazz Age (Ryland Peters & Small, $9.95) we find sixty-some pages of beautiful illustrations, succinct history lessons, terrific quotes from The Great Gatsby, as well as a solid list of timeless recipes for truly delightful drinks.