Cocktails for the Gatsby-Obsessed (And Trivia Too!)

This post is sponsored by NOLET’S Silver Dry Gin. NOLET’S Silver features fruit and floral botanicals such as Turkish Rose, Peach, and Raspberry to create a modern style of gin. NOLET’S Finest Gins are inspired by more than 300 years of family distilling tradition and the expertise of the Nolet family, the same family who brought you Ketel One® Vodka. Please drink responsibly. 

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Tonight as the clock strikes midnight, millions of brains around the world will spontaneously combust as The Great Gatsby finally takes flight on the big screen. Bookworms will swoon, pop culture fans will gawk, foodies will drool, and bartenders will smile, as the world of the jazz age unravels before their eyes.

Regardless of your opinion about The Great Gatsby as a book (or Leonardo DiCaprio as an actor) – and I have serious reservations about each – it’s hard to deny the seduction of the glittery jazz age with its spin of wild music and parties, its overflow of bubbly drinks, and the undeniable glamour of an entire society based on the underground trafficking of alcohol. Cocktails are at the center of the story, and no true Gatsby fan should watch the movie without partaking in those delicious Prohibition-era libations.

So, we at Book Riot are here to support your needs – your nerdy, literary, historical, and cocktail needs. I present three trivia items about The Great Gatsby and the jazz age, each of which is paired with a lively cocktail to help bring your very own Gatsby-inspired evening to life.

Fun Fact #1: Those looking for a cocktail during the dark days of Prohibition resorted to one of two things: either buying bootlegged liquor (see Gatsby and his champagne), or making their own (see bathtub gin). Bathtub gin refers to a less-than-ideal variation of the liquor literally made in people’s own bathtubs by mixing grain alcohol, glycerin, juniper juice, and other ingredients. At best, the product was pretty gross… and at worst, quite dangerous. Luckily, those days of crummy gin and illegal champagne are over. This cocktail original from Brian Adee of Alchemy Lounge in New Orleans brings the flavors of gin and the glitz of champagne magically to life, and reminds us of one thing: it’s good to live post-1933.

morning trainMorning Train

1/2 oz NOLET’S Silver Dry Gin

1/2 oz Cointreau

1/2 oz Creme Yvette

1/2 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice

champagne topper


Fun Fact #2: Fitzgerald and his wife, the ineffable Zelda, were notorious drunks, and Fitzgerald battled with alcoholism for much of his life. His favorite drink was the gin rickey, and as much of The Great Gatsby was autobiographical, the cocktail showed up in the book as well. A simple drink, a rickey consists of a base spirit, half a squeezed lime, and carbonated water, all served over ice in a highball. Try a lusher gin like NOLET’S Silver Dry Gin, which brings a rich flavor of roses and fruits to the mix. This is perfect for pouring into a travel mug and having on hand at that midnight viewing!

gin rickeyGin Rickey

2 oz NOLET’S Silver Dry Gin

1/2 lime

club soda




Fun Fact #3: During Prohibition, one of the best sources for decent liquor was doctors, who doled out alcohol more frequently than ever before – “patients” could get up to one ounce every few hours with a prescription. (See this awesome article for more detail.) Some of the more common “medicinal” alcohols were bitters, which consisted of a high-proof alcohol infused with herbs, roots, spices, and fruits, and bitter liqueurs, which purported to settle upset bellies. So in the name of bitters, I present you my whiskey-based variation on the early Bijou cocktail, a bitter-forward cocktail that I guarantee will solve (just about) any malady you’ve got!


modified bijouModified Bijou

1 oz Bulleit rye

1 oz Green Chartreuse

1 oz sweet vermouth




So whip these delicious drinks up, and can’t you feel it already…

The bar is in full swing, and floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden outside, until the air is alive with chatter and laughter, and casual innuendo and introductions forgotten on the spot, and enthusiastic meetings between women who never knew each other’s names.The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald


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