A Prohibition Era Cocktail

Ah, yes. It was time for a drink! Fine Living Lancaster Magazine visited the Horse Inn on Tuesday afternoon. We took a seat on two of the barstools (original to the building) in the low-lit dining room of the restaurant. Benjamin Hash, bar manager, looked at us and said, “How about The Scofflaw?” referring to one of his favorite cocktails.

As he turned to collect his ingredients, he gave us the particularly humorous history of this concoction. The Scofflaw was developed in Paris in the 1920’s during the prohibition era. The drink was an homage to the men back home, the men who “scoffed at the law” by drinking illegally.

He plucked a couple of familiar bottles from the shelves, such as Woodford Reserve (Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey) and Martini & Rossi dry vermouth, and then moved onto some not-so-familiar liquids. I personally was immediately intrigued as he began mixing the drink.

ProhibitionCocktail“One of the most important parts of making a good cocktail is chilling the glass,” Ben said as he piled cubes of ice into an old fashioned glass. By watching him measure each ingredient with precision, anyone can tell that this man is not your typical bartender. He takes passion and pride in his job; the perfect balance of flavor is crucial to him.

Ben shook the jigger several times and poured the mixture, sliding the glass across the glossy wooden bar top towards our eagerly open hands. The first sip was deliciously tart, quickly turning into sweetness. One could only imagine this burst of flavor was a result of the freshly squeezed lemon juice blending with orange bitters and homemade grenadine.

I know what you’re thinking: homemade grendadine?!  Ben explained that though the recipe is quite simple, homemade grenadine creates a different caliber in flavor which the store-bought version just cannot surpass.

All in all, this drink was heavenly perfection, and highly recommended. One could slowly sip until reaching the bottom of the glass, all the while imagining themselves in 1920’s garb, just scoffing at the law.

*What’s Next? The Horse Inn is now offering a Tom and Jerry (a warming drink similar to eggnog using Maplehofe Dairy eggs,) Hot Buttered Rum (which tastes like a less sweet butter rum candy and uses Amish butter,) and the Tin Soldier (which is essentially a Hot Toddy with Green Chartreuse).

Experience the Horse Inn at 540 East Fulton Street in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
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