What’s the password?

The Temple News breaks down some of the popular drinks from the 1920s.


To get into a speakeasy, you had to know a password or special knocks. Drinks inside contained everything from bathtub gin to champagne, allowing bartenders to come up with creative cocktails. The Temple News found five popular drinks from the 1920s — try them out and maybe you’ll find them to be the bee’s knees.

The Gin Rickey

This classic refreshing drink can be made with just three ingredients: gin, lime juice and seltzer. This cocktail was considered author F. Scott Fitzgerald’s favorite drink because he believed gin wasn’t detectable on the breath, NPR reported.

Monkey Gland

In composition, the Monkey Gland, made with gin and absinthe, is quite similar to many cocktails, but its name is controversial. This drink became popular a year before Prohibition when a London bartender named it after a Russian doctor’s process of grafting monkey’s glands into humans, the Daily Beast reported.

Mary Pickford

Mixing white rum, pineapple juice and grenadine, this sweet drink was inspired by America’s silent screen sweetheart Mary Pickford, a Canadian-born actress who starred alongside Charlie Chaplin. The drink was created in her honor in Havana, Cuba, where she filmed a movie, the Washington Post reported.

Bee’s Knees

True to its name, the Bee’s Knees uses gin, honey and lemon juice to give a pleasant taste to the otherwise bad bathtub gin. The cocktail was considered a novelty, as it was one of the first drinks to get bartenders to use honey, instead of sugar, since the colonial ages, according to PBS.

Tom Collins

Mix gin, lemon juice, carbonated water and sugar and you get the funniest drink in the bar. This drink was named after an 1874 joke popular in New York and Philadelphia. People came into bars jokingly asking for “Tom Collins.” Bartenders later made a drink named after the fictional man, so a person making the joke would unknowingly order a drink, Business Insider reported. 

Videos by Erik Coombs
Photos by Claudia Salvato

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