D.C. Toasts: The Black Mixology Club

D.C. Toasts: The Black Mixology Club

Prior to and during Prohibition, a number of African-American bartenders saw their craft as a gateway to the middle class in an era when many doors were closed to black workers. Kojo talks with historians and mixologists who are now unearthing the stories -- and the recipes -- behind that generation of African-American bartenders.

Prohibition provides an interesting perspective on the history of racial discrimination in the United States. A number of African-American bartenders saw their craft as a gateway to the middle class in an era when many doors were closed to black workers. Kojo talks with historians and mixologists who are now unearthing the stories -- and the recipes -- behind that generation of African-American bartenders.

Guests

Garrett Peck

Author, "The Prohibition Hangover: Alcohol in America from Demon Rum to Cult Cabernet" (Rutgers University Press)

David Wondrich

drinks correspondent, Esquire magazine; author, "Imbibe!" and "Punch: The Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl"

Duane Sylvestre

Bartender, Bourbon Steak

Related Links

Flower Pot Punch Recipe

This was a celebrated cocktail created at Hancock's restaurant, according to cocktail historian Charles Wheeler, who noted that the African American bartenders there practiced a "lost art" before Prohibition. He wrote, "In a glass filled with crushed ice were introduced sugar and the juices of lemon and lime, colored red with Grenadine, drenched to the top with Santa Cruz rum and decorated artistically with whatever fruits were in season."

From the "Cocktail Interlude" section of "Prohibition in Washington, D.C.: How Dry We Weren't" by Garrett Peck

Ingredients:
2 oz. Cruzan three-year white rum
.5 oz. lemon juice
.5 oz. lime juice
.5 oz. pineapple syrup
1 dash Grenadine

Instructions:
Fill a rocks glass with crushed ice. Add all of the ingredients and then stir until frosty. Garnish with seasonal fruits and a couple sprigs of mint.

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The Kojo Nnamdi Show is produced by member-supported WAMU 88.5 in Washington DC.