Monday, October 21, 2013

The Great Gatsby Party: Drinks

"In the main hall a bar with a real brass rail was set up, and stocked with gins and liquors and with cordials so long forgotten that most of his female guests were too young to know one from another."
-The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald

Obviously alcohol is a very important part of both the 1920's and The Great Gatsby. During the 1920's, American was in prohibition, which meant that alcohol was the forbidden fruit. Both a combination of the culture of the time and the prohibition lead to people drinking a lot. Therefore, alcohol should play a big part in your Great Gatsby Party. Here are some alcoholic drinks that are practically mandatory at a Great Gatsby themed party:

Champaign will be the most important drink at your party. Every moment was for celebrating in the time of The Great Gatsby, and celebration called for bubbles. The most authentic champaign would be French, since this is where it was being imported from during the Prohibition Era, but really any champaign will do as long as there is a lot of it. It is also important to serve the champaign not in fluted glasses, but in champaign coupe.

Gin Rickey
The Gin Rickey is the middle drink in the photo below. This gin drink is very easy to make, and only requires a couple of ingredients.

Mint Juleps
Mint Juleps were Daisy Buchannans drink of choice in The Great Gatsby. This drink also requires very few ingredients, and the alcohol is whiskey.

This was supposedly the drink of Al Capone and his men, according to This "prohibition gem" is very similar to the mint julep, but instead uses gin rather than whiskey.

This was a common drink ordered during the Prohibition Era. The recipe is very flexible, allowing for different alcohols to be subbed in (bourbon whiskey was the original alcohol in this drink), and anything from ginger beer to mineral water or club soda can be used.

You can also go to Food Republic, and they have a page of their 10 Favorite Prohibition Drinks. For non-alcoholic drinks, things such as Cocoa-Cola, ginger ale, lemonade, or tea could be served. 

The presentation of your bar is also very important to the theme of a Great Gatsby Party. As made obvious in the quote from the book, the bar was the center of the party. It was centrally located, fully stocked, and extravigantly decorated. Here are some ideas for how to present your bar:

Use a bar cart if your party is small enough. This will ensure that the bar stays at the center of the party, because it can be wheeled wherever the party moves. Also, considering putting your alcohols into fancier glass bottles (can easily be found at thrift stores for very reasonable prices). This will give the bar a more luxurious feel and will be reminiscent of a Jay Gatsby party.

Create a champaign tower! This will give the party a sense of celebration and lavishness.

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