18 Most Popular 1930s Cocktails to Try

Step back in time to the glamorous era of the 1930s, where cocktails reigned supreme as the epitome of sophisticated indulgence. 1930s cocktails encapsulate the essence of an era characterized by jazz music, flapper fashion, and the golden age of Hollywood. These timeless libations are a delightful blend of artistry and flavor, offering a taste of the past with every sip. With their classic recipes and elegant presentation, these cocktails appeal to those seeking a touch of nostalgia and a dash of old-world charm in their modern-day imbibing experiences.

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Old Fashioned

Pumpkin Old Fashioned cocktail

The Old Fashioned, a beloved classic, tantalizes the palate with its timeless blend of flavors. Crafted with a hint of sugar, a generous pour of smooth bourbon, a dash of Angostura bitters, and a splash of water, this cocktail embodies simplicity and sophistication. Served over ice and garnished with an enticing twist of orange peel and a luscious brandied cherry, it delivers a harmonious balance of sweetness, warmth, and gentle bitterness. Sip slowly to savor the intricate layers of flavor that unfold with each indulgent sip. The Old Fashioned rich history and refined taste make it a cherished choice for discerning drinkers.

Death in the Afternoon

death in the afternoon cocktail

Indulge in the enigmatic allure of the Death in the Afternoon cocktail, a mesmerizing blend of absinthe and chilled Champagne. The intense herbal notes of absinthe intertwine with the fizz of champagne, creating a captivating contrast of flavors. With each sip, the floral and anise undertones dance on the palate, delivering a unique sensory experience. Raise a glass, garnished with a delicate rose petal or a vibrant lemon twist, and let Death in the Afternoon take you on a journey like no other.

Salty Dog

salty dog cocktail with vodka or gin and grapefruit juice

The Salty Dog cocktail tantalizes the taste buds with its delightful blend of gin or vodka and zesty grapefruit juice. The sharp, citrusy flavors of the grapefruit complement the spirit, creating a refreshing and invigorating experience. Served in a glass with a salt-rimmed edge and garnished with a slice of grapefruit, this drink exudes a perfect balance of tanginess and a subtle hint of salinity. Originating in the United States, this cocktail gained popularity in the mid-20th century and continues to be a beloved choice for those seeking a vibrant and tangy drink. Embark on a journey of citrusy bliss with the Salty Dog cocktail!

Brown Derby

Boozy Refreshing Brown Derby Cocktail with Bourbon and Grapefruit

The Brown Derby cocktail effortlessly marries the robust flavors of bourbon with the tang of fresh grapefruit juice and the subtle sweetness of honey syrup. Simple to serve, this cocktail is accessible to all. Just mix the ingredients, strain into a glass, and garnish with a twist of grapefruit peel. The Brown Derby caters to a wide range of palates, appealing to both bourbon enthusiasts and those seeking a balanced and citrusy drink. Sip and savor its harmonious blend, allowing the flavors to unfold on the tongue. Enjoy this versatile drink as a pre-dinner aperitif or a delightful companion to a relaxed evening. Cheers to the delightful simplicity of the Brown Derby!

Mai Tai

a glass of mai tai cocktail

Indulge in the tropical allure of the Mai Tai cocktail, where aged rum and Rhum Agricole unite to deliver a rich and complex base. Freshly squeezed lime juice adds a zesty tang, while orange curacao contributes a hint of citrus sweetness. Almond sugar syrup and simple syrup bring a delightful balance of flavors, complemented by the chill of ice. Garnished with a mint sprig, this cocktail offers a harmonious fusion of tropical notes, citrus brightness, and a subtle sweetness that dances on the palate. Whether enjoyed poolside or at a lively gathering, the Mai Tai transports drinkers to an island paradise with each sip.

Corpse Reviver #2

corpse reviver no. 2 cocktail with bottles of ingredients in the background

Revive your spirits with the tantalizing Corpse Reviver #2 cocktail, where gin takes the lead, accompanied by the delicate flavors of Lillet Blanc and Cointreau. A splash of zesty lemon juice adds a citrusy tang, while a hint of absinthe contributes an intriguing herbal note. Garnished with an orange peel, this drink boasts a stimulating and harmonious blend of flavors that dance on the palate. Originally intended as a hangover cure, it has transcended its curative origins and become a favorite among cocktail enthusiasts. Sip on Corpse Reviver #2 and let its vibrant flavors breathe new life into your senses. 

Cape Codder

cape codder cocktail vodka cranberry

The Cape Codder cocktail is a simple yet refreshing blend of vodka and cranberry juice. The vodka provides a clean and neutral base, while the tartness of the cranberry juice adds a vibrant and fruity flavor profile to the mix. Commonly served in a highball or Collins glass, the Cape Codder offers a crisp and thirst-quenching experience. With each sip, you’ll be greeted by the invigorating combination of the smooth vodka and the tangy sweetness of the cranberry juice, leaving you with a refreshing and revitalizing sensation.

Blood and Sand

Homemade Smokey Blood and Sand Cocktail with Orange Juice and Scotch

The Blood and Sand cocktail is a unique blend of smooth Scotch whisky, sweet vermouth, cherry heering liqueur, and fresh orange juice, setting it apart from other traditional cocktails. This combination of ingredients creates a harmonious balance of flavors with the smokiness of the whisky, the richness of the vermouth and cherry heering, and the vibrant citrus notes from the orange juice, resulting in a complex and delightful libation. The Blood and Sand is typically served cold, allowing the flavors to mingle and create a stimulating and invigorating sensation on the palate. Immerse yourself in its richness, balance, and layered taste, making it a cocktail that demands to be savored and appreciated. Cheers to a truly exceptional drink!

The Last Word

Last Word Cocktail

The Last Word cocktail is a harmonious symphony of flavors, combining gin, maraschino liqueur, green Chartreuse, and freshly squeezed lime juice. Its taste profile is a perfect balance of herbal, sweet, and tart notes. Sipping on this cocktail is a delight for the senses, as the vibrant lime juice melds seamlessly with the complex botanicals of the gin, while the maraschino liqueur and Chartreuse add depth and a hint of sweetness. The brandied cherry garnish offers a luscious finishing touch. Its intricate combination of ingredients makes it a drink favorite, as it showcases the artistry and versatility of mixology and provides a truly memorable and unique drinking experience.

Bee’s Knees

Bee's Knees Cocktail Recipe

The Bee’s Knees cocktail buzzes with delightful flavors thanks to the perfect combination of gin, honey syrup, and lemon juice. The gin provides a smooth and botanical foundation, while the honey syrup adds a touch of sweetness and depth. The tangy lemon juice provides a citrus kick, perfectly balancing the drink. Garnished with a twist of lemon, the Bee’s Knees is a vibrant and invigorating drink that will leave you buzzing with delight. Indulge in the Bee’s Knees and let its irresistible charm sweep you off your feet. Raise a glass and toast to the perfect marriage of flavors. Cheers to the Bee’s Knees!

Mary Pickford

Fresh cocktail glass on glass table in night club restaurant. Alcohol cocktail drink, close-up. Retro alcoholic beverage

The Mary Pickford cocktail is a delightful blend of white rum, pineapple juice, grenadine, and maraschino liqueur. This combination offers a tropical and fruity flavor profile with a touch of sweetness and a hint of cherry. Originating in Havana, Cuba, the cocktail was named after the famous American actress Mary Pickford and gained popularity during the Prohibition era. Its vibrant and refreshing taste, reminiscent of a tropical getaway, contributed to its rise in popularity and continues to make it a beloved choice for cocktail enthusiasts seeking a taste of Havana’s golden age. Sip on the Mary Pickford and transport yourself to a bygone era of glamor and exotic flavors.

White Lady

The White Lady

The White Lady cocktail strikes a delightful balance with its combination of London dry gin, Triple Sec, freshly squeezed lemon juice, egg white, and sugar syrup. While it may seem complex with its ingredients, it is simple to serve. Just shake the components vigorously with ice and strain into a glass. The White Lady appeals to a wide range of palates, as it offers a sophisticated blend of citrusy notes, a touch of sweetness, and a velvety texture from the egg white. Enjoy this classic cocktail as an elegant aperitif or a refined choice for any occasion, and let its flavors captivate your taste buds with each sip.

Ward Eight

Ward Eight Cocktail

Indulge in the delightful Ward Eight cocktail, where the boldness of rye whiskey meets the tanginess of lemon juice and the vibrant sweetness of orange juice. The grenadine adds a touch of richness and a hint of fruitiness to this harmonious blend. Each ingredient comes together to create a balanced flavor profile, with the whiskey’s warmth complemented by the citrusy brightness and the subtle sweetness of the grenadine. Over the years, this drink has gained popularity for its complex yet approachable taste, making it a favorite choice among whiskey enthusiasts and cocktail connoisseurs alike. With its vibrant flavors and rich history, the Ward Eight is a testament to the timeless allure of classic cocktails.

French 75

french 75 cocktail on a bar

Elevate your celebrations with the exquisite French 75 cocktail, a sparkling blend of Champagne, gin, zesty lemon juice, and a touch of sweetness from simple syrup. This drink offers a delightful combination of flavors, where the fizz of Champagne mingles harmoniously with the botanical notes of gin, while the citrusy tang of lemon juice adds a delightful twist. Garnished with a lemon twist, it exudes elegance and sophistication. The French 75 is a versatile cocktail that suits a variety of occasions, whether it’s a glamorous evening soiree, a joyful toast at a wedding, or a festive gathering with friends. Raise a glass of the French 75 and let its effervescent charm transport you to a world of timeless sophistication and merriment. Cheers to the enchanting allure of this beloved cocktail!

Hemingway Daiquiri

Boozy Rum Hemingway Daiquiri with LIme and Grapefruit

The Hemingway Daiquiri cocktail combines the vibrant flavors of lime juice, grapefruit juice, white rum, and maraschino liqueur, resulting in a citrusy and stimulating drink that offers a delightful balance of sweet and tangy notes. Commonly served in a chilled cocktail glass, sipping on the Hemingway Daiquiri is an invigorating experience. You’ll be treated to a zesty burst of lime and grapefruit flavors, complemented by the smoothness of the rum and the subtle floral undertones of the maraschino liqueur. It’s a perfect blend of tropical vibes and refined taste. This cocktail is ideal for a summer gathering or a leisurely afternoon, offering a taste of escapism and relaxation. 

Vieux Carré

Vieux Carre Cocktail

The Vieux Carré cocktail is a harmonious blend of rye whiskey, cognac, sweet vermouth, Bénédictine, and a dash of both Angostura and Peychaud’s bitters. Each ingredient contributes to the complexity of the drink, with the rye whiskey and cognac providing a robust and rich foundation, the sweet vermouth adding depth and balance, the Bénédictine infusing a subtle herbal sweetness, and the bitters enhancing the overall flavor profile with their aromatic notes. Immerse yourself in the allure of the Vieux Carré and experience a taste of New Orleans sophistication. Cheers to the timeless charm of the Vieux Carré!

Lion’s Tail

Glass of orange cocktail decorated with orange at bar counter background.

The Lion’s Tail cocktail stands out with its distinctive combination of bourbon, allspice dram liqueur, fresh-squeezed lime juice, simple syrup, and a dash of Angostura aromatic bitters. This unique blend sets it apart from other drinks, as the allspice dram adds a warm and spicy dimension to the smoothness of bourbon, while the lime juice and bitters provide a stimulating and balanced citrusy twist. Served cold, the Lion’s Tail cocktail offers a harmonious interplay of flavors. Let the Lion’s Tail transport you to a world of refined taste and elevate your drinking experience.


Sidecar cocktail

The Sidecar cocktail is a classic favorite that tantalizes the palate with its elegant combination of Cognac, Triple Sec, or Cointreau, and freshly squeezed lemon juice. It offers a harmonious balance of rich, fruity notes from the cognac, the vibrant citrus flavors of the Triple Sec or Cointreau, and a tangy twist from the lemon juice. Served in a chilled glass with a lemon or orange twist garnish, the Sidecar is best enjoyed slowly, allowing the flavors to unfold and invigorate the senses. Its timeless appeal lies in its sophistication and the way it effortlessly captures the essence of a refined and balanced cocktail.

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An Old Fashioned Cocktail, classically served in a short tumbler glass on a dark, elegant wooden bar counter. The cocktail has a deep amber color, with a large, clear ice cube resting in the center. A twist of orange peel and a single cherry garnish the drink, adding a touch of sophistication. The background features a dimly lit, upscale bar ambiance, with shelves of premium whiskey bottles softly illuminated by warm, ambient lighting.

18 Best 1930s Cocktail Recipes

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
4.7 from 3 votes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: 1930s, 1930s cocktails
Servings: 1
Author: Paul Kushner
Step into the roaring 1930s with our guide to classic cocktails


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18 Most Popular 1930s Cocktails to Try
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Paul Kushner

Written by Paul Kushner

Founder and CEO of MyBartender. Graduated from Penn State University. He always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. His restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time he turned 17 he was serving tables, and by 19 he was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, Paul opened his first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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An Alabama Slammer Cocktail in a highball glass, placed on a bar counter. The cocktail is brightly colored with layers of red, orange, and yellow, resembling a sunset. The glass is garnished with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry on the rim. The background features blurred bottles and glasses, creating a sophisticated bar atmosphere. The image is in landscape orientation.

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