Today’s cocktail culture consistently revolves around the turn of the century and earlier, right up to prohibition. True, cocktails were not as spectacular after repeal, but in the later 30’s just before the war one could not find a party without Gin Martinis flowing, and what better to pour them from a beautiful, gleaming shaker? Machine-age design was at its peak before World War II (during materials were all used for the war effort), and the shinier and sleeker the better. Everyone at a party was drinking the same thing, so making a large batch made sense both for ease and display. Watch a Thin Man movie sometime to get the idea.
My favorite company is Chase Brass and Copper Co. founded in 1876 in Waterbury, CT and still to this day makes brass rods in Ohio. Its heyday was pre-war when famed architects like Frank Llyod Wright were commissioned to make home design pieces, and of course the cocktail shakers were the most iconic.
The best part is while some of the rare pieces get expensive, you can still get good examples at flea markets, antique shops, Ebay, and Etsy without breaking the bank. Be sure to look for the Centuar archer symbol on the bottom of each piece to know it’s the real deal.
2 oz Gin
1 oz Dry Vermouth
1 dash orange bitters
Stir ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with a lemon or orange peel.
3 oz Gin
.25 oz Dry Vermouth
Shake (Nick Charles-Thin Man movies did!) ingredients with ice
and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with one pitted (no pimento) Spanish olive.
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