Did cocktails as we know them grow out of the prohibition era? Were they a way for bartenders or the casual imbiber to hide the taste of nasty illegally-made alcohol? Some say yes, some say no. Specifically, I just read an article on Snopes from a few years ago that says no and one from Smithsonian magazine from last year that says yes.
I am not out to solve this mystery.
What is clear is that banning alcohol did not greatly reduce consumption, though it did a fair job of ruining the businesses of many brewers and wineries.
And drinking continued. By some accounts it increased (or maybe I’m making that up, but it feels like I’ve read it somewhere).
And there were cocktails that were created during prohibition and became popular. One of those is the Mary Pickford.
Mary Pickford was an early star of silent films. Known as the “girl with the curl” she was a pioneer in the burgeoning film industry a hundred years ago. She was married to Douglas Fairbanks (among others) and was one of the founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Oscars),
She was also a cocktail. Well, not her specifically, but there was a cocktail named after her in 1922. Like it’s namesake it is sweet, but with a kick.
Now how does this all tie back to my new book, The Rum Runner? (because you know it has to). Well, I suppose you’ll just have to read it and find out.