Monday, November 11, 2013

Prohibition Secrets -- Delicious Non-Alcoholic Drinks

 Make a variety of tasty beverages simply with flavor concentrates.

Bootleggers.... speakeasys....flappers... and hip flasks are common visions of Prohibition. Certainly the cultural force of the era was connected to illegal alcohol and what to do about it.  The current exhibit at MOHAI in Seattle "American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition" colorfully explores the time with entertaining exhibits and some really terrific clothes! 

Still, soda shops were an important part of those times and made a lasting impact on the main streets of the nation. Where saloons once were a dark presence, soda fountains with their bright windows and shiny counters bright lively beverage options to young and old alike. 

Thousands of drinks were created during the Dry Decade to refresh young and old alike.  Not like the Shirley Temple drinks of my youth, these beverages pack their own flavor punch and are deliciously refreshing.  Mix up a batch of the flavor concentrates and keep in the fridge for a couple of days or for weeks in the freezer. Add to sparkling water, toss in some ice.  Delicious and there won't be any worries about hangovers!

These flavoring syrups are just the thing for custom Sodastream beverages. Charge your bottle as usual, put the flavoring concentrates into a glass, add ice and then your Sodastream carbonated water. Different and delicious!  Sophisticated and not at all like soda pop.

Simple Syrup
This easy-to-make syrup is the basis for a wide range of beverage flavorings.

1 cup water
1 cup white granulated sugar

Put the water into a medium pot. Gradually add the sugar. Warm over low heat, stirring gently until the sugar dissolves. Do not even bring to a simmer.  Just heat it enough to encourage the sugar to dissolve. Simple syrup keeps for days in the refrigerator.

To make flavored syrups
You can buy bottles of flavoring syrups in grocery stores or on the web. But for basic fruit flavors it is easy to make them using your own simple syrup and frozen juice concentrates.

1/4 cup simple syrup
1 tablespoon concentrated juice mix such as lemonade, limeade, orange juice

Stir the concentrate into the syrup. Use immediately, or store in the refrigerator for two or three days.

Cider Frappe

This drink mix keeps in your freezer for weeks. Scoop some out and garnish with fresh apple slices for a beverage that is tart and sweet.

2 cups cider, unsweetened
freshly squeezed juice of 1 1/2 oranges
freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 lemon
1⁄2 cup sugar
Mix all the ingredients, stirring until the sugar is fully dissolved, and freeze to a slush. Serve in a sherbet or marguerite glass. Makes four 1/2-cup servings. 

 Klondike Fizz 

Up-to-date soda fountain operators took advantage of Prohibition business opportunities. They created new drinks and named them after current events, holidays, and exotic places. What could be more refreshing on a hot summer day in Peoria than a tasty drink named after the romantic and cold, cold-mining country north of the border.

By the drink
1/4 ounce orange syrup
1/4 ounce lemon syrup
1 ounce strawberry syrup
1/4 cup crushed ice
carbonated water, 6 ounces, approximately

Put the syrups in a 10-ounce glass. Add a scoop of crushed ice.   Fill with carbonated water and stir.

By the pitcher
1/2 cup lemon syrup
1/2 cup orange syrup
3/4 cup strawberry syrup (found in the maple syrup aisle)
3/4 cup simple syrup
Makes enough to flavor 3 liters of club soda --  ¾ cup for each liter. 

Prohibition Sour

This "Prohibition Sour" was featured in 1920s soda fountains as "a drink for men." But anyone who enjoys a tart, tasty drink will love it.

By the drink
1 ounce lemon syrup (see recipe below)
1/2 ounce orange syrup
freshly squeezed juice of one lime
crushed ice
carbonated water, 6 ounces approximately
Put the syrups and lime juice into a 12-ounce glass.  Add a scoop of crushed ice. Fill with carbonated water, stir and serve garnished with a slice of lime.

By the pitcher -- enough concentrate for 12 8-ounce drinks
Will keep in the refrigerator for two or three days, or in the freezer for weeks.
1 1/2 cups lemon syrup
3/4 cup orange syrup
juice from 6 limes

The Minnehaha Maid was created in a Minnesota soda fountain

During Prohibition soda fountain operators used local cranberry juice and white grape juice from California growers who turned to selling juice now that they could no longer make wine. It is a delightful beverage today.

Minnehaha Drink Concentrate
Makes 16 5-ounce drinks
Will keep in the refrigerator for two or three days, or in the freezer for weeks.

1/2 cup cranberry juice
1/2 cup white grape juice
1/2 cup lemon syrup
1/2 cup simple syrup (see recipe below)

Combine syrups. To serve use one ounce to a 7-ounce glass.  Add a small scoop of crushed ice and about 4 ounces carbonated water. Finish with a twist of lemon.

Copyright 2013 Rae Katherine Eighmey from Soda Shop Salvation: Recipes and Stories from the Sweeter Side of Prohibition. Published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press.


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