How far would you travel for a classic, handcrafted cocktail?
Your answer today might be different than on the evening of January 17, 1920. Because when Prohibition started, the lengths New Orleanians were willing to go to find a good drink changed as well. But while Prohibition was designed to put an end to cocktails, it sparked a newfound appreciation for good drinks and good times. Enter: the 12 Mile Limit.
Everyone knows that Prohibition was intended to ban the import, export and imbibing of alcohol. But did you know that the ban only extended for a few miles offshore? Once New Orleanians discovered this loophole, they used it to their benefit — and even more so, their enjoyment.
Soon enough, cruises became all the rage. Locals would gather on ships to play shuffleboard, deck tennis, swim and, of course, drink cocktails. While it was certainly a different experience than the bars of New Orleans, the three-mile and 12-mile limit perimeters were the perfect legal playground for cocktail enthusiasts.
Mixing Up New Recipes
Prohibition was anything but usual. And people weren’t ordering their usual drinks either. For better or worse, this inspired some all-new cocktail creations. The most famous of which is the Twelve Mile Limit. The name itself was a direct nod to the way people skirted the law to get their fill of alcohol. You can call the name arrogant or just call it straightforward — either way, it would last much longer than the rules that confined it at the time.
Here’s how we like to make our Twelve Mile Limit:
1 oz Cane Run Rum or white rum
.5 oz Sazerac Rye
.5 oz ounce brandy
.5 oz grenadine
.5 oz lemon juice
Shake well with ice and strain into glass and garnish with lemon
The mix of spirits was the perfect way for alcohol-deprived to indulge on all their favorite flavors in one glass. Even better, it was easy to make and easier to enjoy.
The Legacy Lives On
American ingenuity was on full display during Prohibition. The story of the Twelve Mile Limit is just another unique way for people to enjoy their favorite — and new favorite — cocktails of the time. While some of the Prohibition-era traditions fell by the wayside soon after National Repeal Day, cruises and the Twelve Mile Limit lived on. And for that, we’re grateful.