Though prohibition was, we imagine, the worst thing the American population have ever had to endure, it did have its plus points. Namely, the creation of the speakeasy, where illegal cocktails were served-up beneath the city streets.
Drinking may be back on the (very public) agenda, but the spirit of the speakeasy is still alive and well. So, who better to teach us about the joys of prohibition drinking than Eric Alperin, cocktail guru at The Varnish, LA's favourite speakeasy bar.
First, start with the right ice. "The invention of ice machines screwed up the ability to make good cocktails," says Alperin.
"Use block ice, never cubes. To make your block ice at home, take an empty juice carton, rinse thoroughly, fill with purified water, put in the freezer for 24 hours, remove from freezer and cut away the carton. Voilà! Block ice. Use an ice pick to chip it into the appropriate sizes. One big piece for cocktails that call for it is best."
How to make an Old-fashioned -
9oz whiskey glass
1 white sugar cube
4 dashes Angostura bitters
Bar spoon of soda water
Muddle the three ingredients in a glass to create a paste
Add 2oz bourbon whiskey
Add a chunk of ice & stir
Garnish with orange peel