Ameerah was having the time of her life during the summer of 1925 when her high-hat parents were out of state on business. She was a flapper gal who drank, smoked, and loved to dance. She had two deep dark secrets that in the end ruined her and was used as ammunition to wrongfully commit her to an insane asylum where horrible things were done to her.
Before the light was taken from Ameerah, plunging her into the dark side of humanity, she experienced for the first time in her life, happiness and true love. Of course, all of this took place during prohibition where there were hidden illegal drinking nightclubs that people flocked to. The speakeasy. It was called “the speakeasy” because a bartender had to tell a patron who was ordering an alcoholic beverage to speak easy, so he wouldn’t raise suspicion. The term actually went back further than that, to the 1800s, but it was basically for the same reason. The speakeasy was also known as the blind pig or blind tiger. They were secretive joints that you had to find and give a password like panther sweat, in order to gain access to. A lot of speakeasies were run by gangsters, and they greased a lot of palms-political and law enforcement—in order to keep business rolling. In 1925, there were an estimated 30,000-100,000 speakeasies in New York City alone.
The south side cocktail was the drink Al Capone and his gang favored the most. Ameerah tried it when she went to a speakeasy with her best friend Betty and Betty’s bootlegging brother Abe. The drink is light and refreshing. The ingredients are simple.
South Side cocktail:
5 fresh mint leaves
1 oz. simple syrup (one part sugar, one part water)
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
2 oz. gin
Garnish: mint sprig
Serve in a cocktail glass
Makes one drink.
Simple, delicious, dangerous: The Southside. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman.