Monday, August 13, 2012

the scofflaw

Yes, it's Monday morning here, but as they say--it's 5 o'clock somewhere!  Thus, I will not hesitate to share with you this, a classic cocktail borne out of Prohibition: the Scofflaw.  In 1923, the Anti-Saloon League offered a $200.00 prize to the person who coined the best term to describe "a lawless drinker of illegally made or illegally obtained liquor."  Two different people submitted the winning word:  scofflaw.  As you can guess, rather than becoming a term of shame, Prohibition drinkers embraced it, and almost immediately, a new drink christened the "Scofflaw Cocktail" was born at Harry's New York Bar in Paris.

If you like whiskey sours, you'll probably like the Scofflaw.  It's has a refreshing tang from lemon juice, and a pleasing sweetness and vivid pink color from grenadine.  The recipe I used comes from Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All by Brad Thomas Parsons.

*1 1/2 oz rye or Canadian whiskey
*1 oz dry vermouth
*3/4 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
*3/4 oz grenadine
*1 dash orange bitters
*Garnish: orange twist (I used a lemon peel)

Combine all the ingredients except the garnish in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.  Shake until chilled and strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass.  Garnish with the orange twist (or lemon twist/peel).




  1. I read this at 8:30am my time! ;)

    I'm still not a convert to whiskey but I might give this a try simply because I love the name.

  2. I'm trying to imagine what whisky and dry vermouth are like together and totally failing at it. I guess I'll just have to try a scofflaw! :-) Wasn't prohibition idiotic?

    1. The whiskey and lemon flavors are the most prominent, I'd say. Speaking of dry vermouth, I prefer a perfect Manhattan--which has 1/2 dry and 1/2 sweet vermouth--to a regular Manhattan. It cuts the sweetness a bit.


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