Scofflaw Cocktail


I’ve been wanting to do this cocktail for awhile but kept missing the prime opportunity.  See, according to the dictionary, a scofflaw is a person who flouts the law. As you may (or may not know) Prohibition started in 1919. It was the 18th Amendment and kept the United States dry for 14 years.  But even though the law was in place and plenty of people were jailed for consuming and/or selling alcohol, there were those who turned their nose up at the Amendment and continued to imbibe liquor as often as they could. These people were known as scofflaws.

But after 14 long years, they no longer had to be. On December 5th, 1933, the 21st Amendment was passed and all those people could drink freely once again. It is for those fine folks that the scofflaw cocktail was invented and since National Repeal Day was Monday, I wanted to introduce you to this drink.


But back to why it took me so long to share this cocktail with you. See, I’ve been wanting to post this drink on or around National Repeal Day, but I kept forgetting about it or missing the date. While it’s true that December 5th was Monday, it was only a few days ago, so I can get it in just under the wire. Yes, this isn’t your standard holiday cocktail, but since the 21st Amendment is so important to us imbibers, I wanted to make sure all those scofflaws, then and now, got their due.

Jock, a bartender at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, thought they deserved their due as well, which is why he created a drink in tribute. The cocktail was created in January of 1924, right in the middle of the America’s Noble Experiment. It was made with rye and vermouth, and just like those of us who enjoy the occasional drink, it has survived the test of time. As I said, it may not seem like an obvious choice during this holiday season, but since it is made with rye and vermouth, it’s definitely a winter c0cktail. So, instead of some eggnog or a Hot Toddy this weekend, raise a Scofflaw in honor of the day that ended the great drinking drought.


Scofflaw Cocktail


  • 2 oz. rye whiskey
  • 1 oz. dry vermouth
  • 3/4 oz. lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz. grenadine
  • 2 dashes orange bitters


  1. Pour all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously for at least 10 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and serve.