Bar Noir at Beverly Hills’ Maison 140, which was built in the thick of prohibition by silent film star Lillian Gish as a boarding house for hopeful thespians, plans to transform into “Bar Noir Speakeasy” during the month of April. Serving gay twenties glamor and classic cocktails in teapots to recreate a speakeasy vibe, the time-warp will only reign here Thursdays through Saturdays starting April 5th. Sure, the speakeasy re-creationist trend felt a little tired by the end of 2010, but hey, the drinks are served with free chocolate orange sazerac popcorn! See the full menu of cocktails below.
Speakeasy Menu 12
Invented at a bar in Paris during World War I, by a Captain who was known for being driven to and from the little bistro in a motorcycle sidecar.
Cognac, Cointreau, fresh lemon juice
Named after a hard-hitting, World War I artillery piece, the French 75 is, as far as can be determined, the only cocktail, invented in the United States during Prohibition, to become a classic.
Gin, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, topped up with sparkling white wine
Originated in Chicago, during or around the time of Prohibition. The flavoring was invented to assist the drinker’s ability to tolerate the harsh taste of bathtub gin.
Gin, simple syrup, fresh lime juice, mint, seltzer water
The drink’s moniker originated from “flapper chatter” of the 1920’s and means the height of excellence.
Gin, homemade honey syrup, fresh lemon juice
The Bronx Cocktail
This is a pre-Prohibition era drink that was very popular. Story has it that Johnnie Solon, a pre-Prohibition bartender at the Manhattan Hotel, invented it around the turn of the century. He was said to be one of the best mixers for most of the hotel’s history. It is maintained that he named the Bronx Cocktail after the Bronx Zoo, where he said he saw drunks hallucinate about wild animals.
Gin, sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, orange juice
8 East 83rd
The Bar Noir creation designed in homage to Lillian Gish. This relic cocktail was inspired by the women of the Upper East Side, who would lace their tea with contraband in order to kick-start their day.
Rye whiskey, Earl Grey tea, simple syrup, fresh lemon juice (optional), served over ice.