HISTORY OF THE SOUTH SIDE COCKTAIL
The origins of the Southside cocktail are not entirely clear. Some say the cocktail originated from south side of Chicago, where Al Capone smuggled harsh gin during Prohibition, which required other fresh, aromatic ingredients to make it more palatable. This practice was not uncommon during the years when the Volstead Act was in place and these often-vile spirits that were watered down and cut with additives came to be know as “bathtub gin.”
Another take on the origins of the South Side are derived from Hugo Enslinn’s Recipes for Mixed Drinks, written in 1917 just before the start of Prohibition. In this classic and hugely influential recipe book, you’ll find a recipe called the “South Side Fizz,” which is described as a classic Gin Fizz shaken with mint leaves. The gin fizz, however, is often lengthened with soda water, which is not something you’ll find in a classic Southside Cocktail.