Fresh tall glass of Orange Blossom Cocktail
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Orange Blossom Cocktail

When Prohibition was at its height, it was nearly impossible to find a good cocktail. During the time of bathtub gin and other illegally produced liquor, the quality and taste of alcohol in general took a steep dive.

Tipplers everywhere overcame this obstacle by using mixers like fruit juice to mask the less-than-desirable taste. The Orange Blossom is an excellent example of this—it consists of gin mixed with sweet vermouth and orange juice and was insanely popular during the 1920s and 30s.

Try an Orange Blossom Cocktail

Another popular cocktail that features orange juice is the Screwdriver. However, this cocktail is a definite upgrade from the OJ-and-vodka combo, making it a popular choice for brunchers everywhere.

However, it can be enjoyed no matter what time of day it is—after all, it’s five o’clock somewhere, right? Give this unique drink a try next time you’re at the bar for something a little new and different.

The recipe for this cocktail first appears in Albert Stevens Crockett’s 1935 drink manual entitled The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book. Crockett states in the book that the cocktail was most likely created by a young bartender with romantic and slightly foolish notions of a young lady, although not everybody believes that version.

No matter who created this tasty drink, all props go to Crockett for giving us the recipe to enjoy it for years to come while saving it from obscurity.

Explore Different Recipe Variations

His book also references a popular variation of the recipe that only calls for equal parts gin and juice, entirely forgoing the vermouth. Rapper Snoop Dogg is probably the most famous example of someone who loves gin and juice and made this variation extremely popular.

However, some like the traditional recipe better, in which the vermouth’s herbal notes balance the slightly acidic citrus juice and gin.

Like any cocktail recipe that calls for juice, it’s always crucial to use fresh-squeezed or the highest quality of bottled juice you can find. It lends a nice pop of freshness that really benefits a good cocktail.

You can also try different kinds of gin. For those who prefer drier gin, try something like London dry. A contemporary style gin is better for a smooth, citrusy finish.

Use Old Tom Gin for an Authentic Taste

However, according to Crockett’s The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book, the only choice of gin for this recipe is Old Tom, which is much sweeter, adding some soft edges and a fuller body to this cocktail.

Old Tom gin was quite popular during Prohibition and can be found in stores to this day. So, if you really want to experience an authentic cocktail from the Prohibition era, use Old Tom gin when you make this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz gin (drinker’s choice)
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1 oz fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • Garnish with an orange wedge

Directions

  1. Gather all the ingredients, a cocktail shaker, and a chilled cocktail glass
  2. Combine equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and fresh-squeezed orange juice into an ice-filled shaker
  3. Shake vigorously until the mixture is well-chilled
  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
  5. Finish it off with an orange wedge garnish.

This cocktail recipe is one that dates back to the Prohibition era when gin was made in bathtubs and drank on the sly in speakeasies. It may be from the past, but this drink has a contemporary feel and is out-of-this-world delicious. Next time you want to try something that’s a little out of the box, ask the bartender for an Orange Blossom.

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