Given Atlantic City's location, it was a prime location for rumrunners bringing illicit liquor into the country from Canada. And Canadian hooch usually meant whisky. Canadian Club, then produced by the Hiram Walker Company, was a particular favorite. (It was also the choice of Don Draper, for you Mad Men fans.) Crown Royal, produced by the Seagram company, was also born during this time.
Gin became increasingly popular with Americans (and bootleggers) during Prohibition. There was plenty of it to be had in England and Canada for organized crime syndicates to import. And unlike whiskey, which has to be aged, gin can be produced in an illegal still and immediately sold. There was also the infamous "bathtub gin" — gin made at home — which came with significant dangers due to the possibility of methanol in the final product.
Although not as desirable as whiskey or gin, rum was still a popular spirit to bootleg (thus the name "rumrunning"), with most of the supply coming from Cuba, the Bahamas and other Caribbean locales. Much of the bootleg rum ended up further south than Atlantic City, but a fair share of Bacardi still made its way to "The World's Playground."
So if you're planning to watch this weekend, who can blame you if you want to enjoy a drink along with the show? Here are some suggestions.
1 1/2 oz. of Crown Royal Black Blended Whisky
1/2 oz. Sweet Vermouth
1 tsp. Simple Syrup
1 Dash Angostura Bitters
Combine ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.
2 oz. Canadian Club Classic 12 Year Old Whisky
4 oz. 7-Up or Ginger Ale
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
Build in an old-fashioned glass over ice. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.
1 1/2 oz. Bacardi White Rum
1 oz. Unsweetened Pineapple Juice
1 tsp. Grenadine
Combine ingredients in a mixing glass with cracked ice and stir. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
1 1/2 oz. London Dry Gin
1/2 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
3/4 oz. Simple Syrup
Shake with cracked ice, then strain into a flute. Top with chilled Champagne. Garnish with a lemon peel spiral (aka a horse's neck).
Shot of Rotgut
1 1/2 oz. of Rotgut, Moonshine or Other Cheap Liquor
Fill a shot glass with rotgut. Pray you don't go blind.