Nude Eel Cocktail

fdrWhen Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office in 1933, one quarter of the U.S. population was out of work, the stock market was a shambles, and farmers were talking of revolution. In the cities, middle-class families were rummaging through garbage cans and standing in soup lines. It was the darkest period in American history since the Civil War.

FDR’s administration wasted no time.  They went after the failing banks first, shutting them down until they could be proven solvent. Five days after he was sworn in as president, the Emergency Banking Relief Act was passed. Subsequent legislation was not without controversy. He clashed with the Supreme Court over industrial legislation (and lost). When he sought to pass the Agricultural Adjustment Act (basically paying farmers not to plant in order to get prices back up) many said he was wading into very dangerous waters. One Republican quipped that the bill was difficult to understand because it was translated directly from the Russian.


Next came the welfare and work programs like the WPA. Then he went after Wall Street, which most Americans believed was the root cause of the Great Depression to begin with. Fifteen major bills passed through congress in the first 105 days of FDR’s presidency. He is the reason that the 100 days benchmark is still observed.

It was the era of the New Deal. This drink was found in a little tome titled The Merry Mixer, published the year FDR took office. Some bartender just couldn’t help himself when he named his new drink. Perhaps he was a Republican. 

The Nude Eel

¾ oz Dubonnet

¾ oz Chartreuse

¾ oz Brandy

¾ oz Gin

Dash Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth

Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Oh, and Prohibition was repealed the same year. FDR did like his martinis.


For an interesting variation try:

1½ oz Gin

½ oz French Vermouth

½ oz Dubonnet

¼ oz Brandy

¼ oz Chartreuse

Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. If you don’t have Dubonnet, try sweet vermouth.

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Bottoms Up!