Saturday, August 10, 2013

Silent Film Saturday-What Drink Did

I have great appreciation for the fruit of the grape and the grain, but since I love the 1920s I also have a fascination with prohibition, and besides it seems most people drank more during prohibition.  I particularly love stories about the NYC speak easy culture and the flappers.  Recently I watched the Ken Burn's documentary Prohibition on Netflix and I really enjoyed it.   Since I love silent movies I was very interested in the short propaganda film, What Drink Did, a clip of which was in the documentary, I was excited to find the whole film on you tube. Made in 1909 the film was wildly popular and was screened all over American, becoming a major tool in the Prohibitionist movement.   Here It is:

 In the spirit of the film and because everyone needs a break from cocktails now and again here are three delicious old fashioned non-alcoholic summer drinks.


1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 cup watermellon puree, from about 1/2 half of a small watermellon, strained to remove seeds
1/2 cup of simple syrup, cooled, or more to taste.  To make this simply heat 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar together in a sauce pan over medium heat and stir until the sugar disollves. 
3 cups cold water

Stir everything together in a large pitcher and chill completely.

Sasparilla and Strawberry Ice Cream Float

Sasparilla is a great old timey soda, similar to root beer, that was very popular in the 19th century, when it was considered to be a health aide.  It is pretty hard to find it now  but a few brands exist.   I used P&H Soda's Sasparilla Syrup. They make their syrups from natural ingredients in Brooklyn and you simply add Seltzer water.

1 1/2 ounces P&H Sasparilla Soda Syrup mixed with 8-10 ounces seltzer water (or simply substitute a Sasparilla Soda)
One scoop strawberry Ice cream

Serve in a tall chilled glass.  Enjoy! 

 Classic Root Beer Float

1 Bottle Virgil's or other high quality root beer
1 large scoop good vanilla ice cream 

 Put the ice cream in a tall  chilled glass and add the root beer.  Enjoy!

I'll be going on blogger break for about a month to enjoy my end of summer break from teaching, but I'm sure I'll be on instagram.   Enjoy the end of summer!


  1. The temperance movement was quite big over here which surprises me. Have a serene Sunday.
    Best wishes Molly

  2. I'll have to check that Ken Burns piece out, seems quite interesting! And thank you for the recipes too. I've not tried Sasparillo and strawberry before!

  3. Now I'm interested in watching more silent films.

    Sarsaparilla and strawberry? I wonder how that tastes

  4. I too recently caught that documentary for the first time and really enjoyed that it took a look not just at prohibition in the 20s, but the long road that lead to it through the 19th century. I felt that over all it was a very well done account, however the ending was a touch abrupt for me. I guess we all know how prohibition played out and what the 20s entailed, but I was a bit surprised they didn't go into those topics in greater detail.

    Enjoy your blogging break, dear Kate, and have an awesome end of summer!!!

    ♥ Jessica


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