Drink Warehouse UK Blogs

Published on May 29, 2023.

Heritage Cocktails

Favourites across the decades. 

1920s – French75

Gin, Fresh Lemon Juice, Simple Syrup, Top-up with Champagne.

The name comes from the strength of the cocktail. Being described as having such a kick that it felt like being shelled with a powerful French 75mm field gun. Despite prohibitions,  no one could stop the ever increasing popularity of Champagne. These French75 cocktails stepped up as an effective way to consume

1930s – Daiquiri 

Lime Juice, Sugar Syrup, White Rum.

It is believed that Jennings created this cocktail to ration for the workers of the mines by experimenting with different blends of the drinks available to them. During the build up to WWII rationing made whiskey and vodka scarce,  however rum was readily available due to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s ‘Good Neighbour policy’. This resulted in strong trade and travel relations with Latin America, Cuba and the Caribbean.

1940s – Manhattan 

Sweet Vermouth, Bourbon, Angostura Bitters.

It was believed to have been created by Dr. Iain Marshall in preparation for a celebration for Winston Churchill’s mother. However, this was later disproved. These cocktails took off as a women’s drink in post-war America, its cherry garnish and sweetness was a large appeal. 

1950s – Martini

Vodka or Gin, Dry Vermouth, Olive/Lemon Peel Garnish.

It was said to have been created by bartender Jerry Thomas in the ‘Occidental Hotel’ in San Francisco. Where it would have been ordered by travellers heading to the nearby city of Martinez. Cosmopolitan executives and businesspeople would propose a “three martini lunch” as common practice. This was due to a marketing campaign promoting the odourless and colourless attributes of a martini (replacing gin with vodka).

1960s – Bloody Mary 

Tomato Juice, Vodka, Worcester Sauce, Tabasco Sauce.

Petiot found vodka tasteless so he experimented with the spirit after the Russian revolution arrived in Paris. Petiot also discovered canned tomato juice at this time and after a year of experimenting he finally cracked this famous blend of ingredients. Growth in popularity for this cocktail seemed to be in conjunction with the introduction of the celery stick garnish. This supposedly originated in Chicago’s ‘Ambassador East Hotel’, when an impatient customer grabbed a celery stick from a nearby relish plate after not receiving their swizzle stick.

1970s – Harvey Wallbanger 

Vodka, Galliano, Fresh Orange Juice, Orange slice with Cherry.

In 1952, a surfer called Tom Harvey would order a classic ‘Screwdriver’ with added Galliano liqueur whenever he had an unsuccessful time on the waves. These would get him so drunk that he would begin bumping into walls whenever he would get up to walk, hence the cocktail’s name. One of the few cocktails to be associated with their own mascot. This marketing campaign peaked the interest of many drinkers and kept it relevant in peoples minds during the 70s.

1980s – Pina Colada

White Rum, Pineapple Juice, Coconut Cream, Ice.

The story goes; during the 19th Century, a Puerto Rican pirate named Roberto Cofresí was in trouble. Only made worse by his annoyed crew. He needed to put some fighting spirit in their stomachs. Leading him to  concoct a drink made of coconut, pineapple & white rum. During this decade, pop culture began to influence drinks. Pina Colada was the first to experience this, rising to fame with Miami Vice only shortly after making a cameo in the song ‘Escape’ (the Pina Colada song) by Rupert Holmes.

1990s – Appletini 

Vodka, Apple Juice, Lemon Juice, Simple Syrup. 

The -tini crazy hit the ’90s hard and the tangy green Appletini arguably led the way. Made with apple vodka and sour apple schnapps, which gave it its signature electric green hue, the Appletini was the perfect accessory to the era’s slinky slip dresses and a frequent order on the bar and club scene.

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About the author

Danny Hegarty

Danny is our Content Developer within the Marketing team. He loves Star Wars and Tequila Rose, but he also loves creating fun content for the DWUK customers. He works hard on design for Set The Bar magazine, customer menus and the Sheridan Wine Portfolio. 

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