The most exciting era in the history of the cocktail marks the beginning of the liberation of women. Prohibition spanned the 1920s to the 1930s and was the birth of the cocktail as we still know it today. The unchanged receipts of superstars such as the Old Fashioned, the Sidecar, and the French 75 are being made today as they were back then. Their longevity is a true mark of perfection and highly impressive.
Side shimmy into focus—the flapper!
Another classic 1920s creation that has stood the test of modern creativity, is ‘the little black dress’, an important symbol of change for women of the time. The 20s was undoubtedly the beginning, if not the breakaway from the Victorian women stereotypes.
Women had had enough of the unfair working conditions apposed on them, and they fought back in the best way. These swinging sisters hit the streets hard, behaving like men just to piss them off and to represent a new, young, and controversial attitude.
They gathered at speakeasies every night, drinking, smoking, and provocatively dancing to the new and dangerously obnoxious sound of Jazz. This behaviour led to women gaining their independence, and enough confidence to demand they be treated as equals in the workplace. They won by the way.
Enter Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel
One of my favourite famous flappers is Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel. The inventor of ‘the little black dress’. She was a savvy businesswoman who fully embraced the flapper culture. In fact, ‘the little black dress’ was specifically designed to allow for optimum movement while dancing. She set a new expression of freedom through fashion, which is often a way that we, as women, express ourselves. She also advocated for heavy, over-the-top makeup, and her signature creation—Chanel No.5—is still considered a sexy minxy fragrance for the forward femme fatale. So this week we give thanks to a mover and shaker that shook things up for a generation of women and gave them the confidence to realise the power of their gender.
How to create this elixir
Cherry and Red Wine Reduction: Grab a can of black cherries and empty them into a small saucepan. Give them a more than gentle press with a muddle stick. Then add ½ a bottle of your favourite Merlot. Try going with a more bold and spicy flavour profile on the wine, the more natural flavour the wine is better. Simmer this down stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes. Next, add ¼ cup of white sugar and stir again for another 30mins or until the liquid has become more of a syrup consistency. Next, strain the wine and allow to cool down.
Perfume Atomizer: Brew a strong batch of your preferred brand of blackberry tea. Allow it to really steep. Add about 4 drops of rose water to the bottle and give it a quick shake. Squeeze the bottle cushion and give it a deep sniff. If you are picking up the berry and rosewater you nailed it. If not, either you need a stronger tea or more rose water. Atomizing a serve for a cocktail creates another layer to the overall experience, as well as adds layers to the flavour profile, as generally, we smell flavour before we actually taste it. So make sure to keep spritzing as you are sipping!
Make sure you have pre-chilled your wine glass. Next, add everything except the bubbles into a shaker. Let your ice and liquid do a jiggle, joggle, jerk and then double strain into the glass. Top with bubbles, and serve with the perfume bottle as your garnish.