1950s Cocktails

The 1950s conjures images of sophisticated men in black suits and women with coiffed hair, in voluminous skirts, sitting on the crazy-paved patio, sipping cocktails. Cocktails weren't invented in the 50s of course but the decade did take to them with gusto and it was an inventive period for alcoholic mixtures.

Gin (mother's little helper) was the big drink of the 50s and the basis for many cocktail concoctions - classics included martinis, highballs, screwdrivers, champagne punches, mint juleps and Tom Collins's. Here's a few recipes for  drinks popular in the mid 20th century:

The Pink Squirrel
Pretty Pink Squirrel
The pink squirrel was especially favoured by women and although its true origins have been the subject of dispute, a Milwaukee joint, called Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge, claims credit for its invention

3/4 oz creme de noyaux---> a red tinged, French liqueur with almond flavouring
3/4 oz white creme de cacao
1 1/2 oz of  cream or a scoop of ice-cream!
    Pour all the ingredients plus crushed ice into a cocktail shaker....shake well and  and strain into chilled, fancy cocktail glasses.

    Brandy Smash
    Not exacty obscure but a fine old drink with the zing of mint, especially appealing to the sweet tooths.

    2 and 1/2 ozs of Brandy
    1 oz of club soda
    1 tsp of fine sugar
    A slice of orange
    1 maraschino cherry
    4 fresh sprigs of mint
      Grab a glass and lightly mix the sugar, mint sprigs and club soda. Add the brandy, give everything a decent stir and garnish with the orange slice and cherry.

      Gin and Sin
      This one sounds dangerous...but nice.

      1 and 1/2 ozs of  Gin
      1 oz of lemon juice
      1 oz of sugar syrup
      1 tsp of Grenadine
        Shake up with ice in a cocktail shaker and strain into cocktail glass.

        Sea Breeze
        This cranberry cocktail, invented in the 1920s was popular in the 50s up until1958, when the US Health Department announced that the cranberry crop had been tainted by toxic herbicides - kind of put people off and it didn't become popular again until the 1970s.

        1 and 1/2 ozs of vodka
        4 oz fresh grapefruit juice
        1 and 1/half ozs of cranberry juice
        1 lime wedge

        Put everything into a highball glass, stir  and decorate with a lime wedge. For a foamy finish, shake in cocktail mixer.

        Classic Champagne Cocktail
        An eternally popular drink and definitely big in the 50s.

        1 sugar lump
        1 or 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
        1 measure of brandy
        4 measures of chilled champagne
        1 slice of orange

        Place sugar lump into a chilled cocktail glass and saturate with the bitters. Add the brandy and top up the glass with champagne. Decorate with a slice of orange.

        The Dry Martini
        5 or 6 ice cubes
        Half measure of dry vermouth
        3 measures of gin
        1 green olive

        Place ice cubes into a mixing glass, pour the vermouth and gin over and stir (don't shake!) vigorously without splashing. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and serve with a green olive.

        The Atomic Cocktail
        The atomic cocktail was a purely 1950s invention, inspired by the nuclear testing that was going on at the time. I'm not 100% sure of this one -might be a bomb, as I've heard it described by one person as 'disgusting'. Hmm.

        1 1/2 ozs vodka
        1 1/2 ozs brandy
        1 teaspoon sherry
        1 1/2 ounces Brut champagne

        Pour the vodka, brandy and sherry over the cracked ice and stir well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and add 1 1/2 to 2 ounces cold brut champagne.
        A compodium of atomic cocktails that promises to blast your socks off.

        Don't forget to serve some period appropriate hors d'oeuvres to your guests in between drinks...such as, fancy canapes (devilled ham, savoury mushrooms), ham and egg balls, cocktail sausages, fruit cups, stuffed eggs, asparagus rolls, cheese straws, cocktail frankfurts, stuffed olives, devils on horseback...