Lois Long was the quintessential flapper. Tall and lean with stylish bobbed hair, she drank, she smoked, and she stayed out all night. She ran a regular social column in the New Yorker with the nom-de-plume of “Lipstick.” Did I mention that she drank? According to Lois, “drinks were a dollar twenty-five” at the 21 Club in New York where “tea” was served from four until closing.
While the Volstead Act prohibited the manufacture and sale of liquor in the United States, it was not illegal to drink it. With the explosion of social freedoms for women during the Jazz Age, drink they certainly did. “We thought brandy was the only safe thing to drink,” wrote Lois, “because, we were told, a bootlegger couldn’t fake the smell and taste of cognac.” After a night out at all the hot spots, she could often be found back at the office,still dressed to the nines (unless the weather was hot and she would strip down to her slip), cigarette dangling from her mouth, and tapping out her next column while the evening’s adventures were still fresh in her mind.
This cocktail was inspired by not only Lois Long (and flappers in general) but a post on Coupe Half Full which featured stone fruit syrups. I suggest popping over there and giving them a try. The peach infused simple syrup goes great with gin, but I took Lois’s recommendation and went with brandy, which also pairs nicely with peach. It is a fairly straight forward Brandy Sling with the peach syrup replacing the usual plain sugar, and adding a mint garnish.
The Flapper Cocktail
2 oz Brandy
½ oz Lemon Juice
½ oz Peach Syrup*
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Sugared rim (optional)**
Shake with ice until cold and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Take a sprig of fresh mint and smack it between your palms to “wake it up” and float it on top.
The drink is meant to be a little on the sweet side. If it is too sweet, cut back on the peach syrup and eliminate the sugared rim.
*Peach Syrup: put 1 cup granulated sugar and the same of water in a saucepan over high heat. Add 2 sliced, ripe peaches with the skin still on and a few crushed cardamon pods. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Cover and reduce heat and let simmer for at least twenty minutes. Let cool and strain into a bottle or jar with lid and store in the refrigerator.
I cut the original recipe in half and added half a stick of cinnamon and a drop of vanilla extract.
** To sugar the rim of a cocktail glass, moisten the rim of the glass with a piece of lemon then sprinkle the rim with sugar. Try to avoid getting sugar onto the inside of the glass. Place the glass in the freezer for a few minutes to allow the sugar to harden. Some prefer to sugar only half the rim to give the drinker a choice.
Here’s to all you flappers out there, wherever you might be!