“What’s old is new again” is the phrase that always pops up when I think of things that are cool and popular at any given moment only because of their retro appeal. It can be seen in the apparel of the fashionable, hipster and wannabe hipsters alike. Dressing like your DeLorean just dropped you off here from 1985 is definitely in right now.
It can also be seen in the world of alcohol. An overwhelming shift into the world of retro can be seen in the popular speakeasies that seem to be popping up all over the place. They’re so hip and retro that when you’re there you are expected to pretend that the Volstead act was never repealed.
What’s more fun than pretending that the “fuzz” could show up any minute and take an ax to all of your hooch while you’re busy doing the Charleston? There’s a speakeasy in my city calledCheshire. I’ve never been there and I don’t know where it is, but hopefully someone will take me and show me the secret knock. Oh no, I’ve said too much.
It’s not just trendy clubs getting on the retro bandwagon though. It’s also cool to grab a classic drink at your local watering hole.
Sailor Jerry Rum: Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins was a Tattoo artist inHawaii. He is often referred to as the “father of old school tattooing”. After he died in the 70’s his spiced rum recipe was unearthed. The bottle is adorned with the work of Sailor Jerry while the rum is the essence of who the man was.
Jack Daniels: JD might not seem very retro. It’s pretty much been the most popular bourbon in theUS for as long as I can remember. What you might not know is that one of the coolest crooners of all time was famous for imbibing it. The chairman of the board, Frank Sinatra claimed to drink at least a bottle per day. He was even buried with his beloved Jack along with a pack of smokes and a stack of dimes so he could call all his friends in the after life.
Martini: If it was cool enough for James Bond, then it’s cool enough to be called retro. I’ve never ordered a martini at a bar. But, if I did, I would do it while speaking with a British accent while wearing a tuxedo.
Moonshine: It’s rumored that while vacationing inGeorgia, FDR purchased and drank moonshine during prohibition. There’s nothing more retro than drinking the same thing that the president illegally acquired while it was banned. You can go the underground route and buy stuff that could make you go blind or you could buy some from one of the many distilleries that make legal moonshine. Personally, I suggest you grab a bottle of Ole Smoky Cherry moonshine.
If you order these other drinks you will seem more hip than your friends:Manhattan, Zombie, White Russian, Tom Collins, Sidecar, Gimlet and Cuba Libre.
I put out an APB to all my Facebook friends for their favorite retro drinks. This is the message I received from my friend Alyssa Belasco:
“Stormy Morning Cocktail: St. Germain + Creme De Violette + Cava + Lime Juice = Alyssa feels classy, even when she’s being a sloppy sally. And it’s delicious. I go to Chesire onSouth Ave(inRochester,NY) for this, above Solera Wine Bar. I feel like I’m at a speakeasy from back in the day, sometimes the bartenders wear bowties. I just might show up there soon in a red flapper dress.”
What retro drinks did I leave off my list? Throw me a message @chrisosburn on twitter firstname.lastname@example.org
*This article originally appeared on DrinkingMadeEasy.com. Chris writes an article for the site every other week.