Scofflaw

Difford's Guide
User Rating (41 ratings)

Serve in a

Coupe glass

Garnish:

Lemon zest twist

How to make:

SHAKE all ingredients with ice and fine strain into chilled glass.

Read about cocktail measures and measuring.

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Review:

Just on the dry/tart side so crisp and superbly refreshing. For my version of this classic, I've used bonded strength rye whisky so you need to up the measure if using standard strength rye. I've also used a 'rich' 2:1 grenadine syrup. If using homemade 1:1 syrup pomegranate syrup for your grenadine, up the measure to 10ml (1/3oz) and omit the sugar syrup. Homemade syrup produces a rust-coloured cocktail while with commercial grenadine the result is likely to be more vibrant. The quality of your pomegranate syrup/grenadine will make or break the finished cocktail.

Variant:

Outlaw

History:

The term "Scofflaw" emerged on 15th January 1924 as the winning word of a competition held by a campaigning teetotaller, named Delcevare King, during the height of Prohibition who offered a prize of $200 "for an epithet which would best express the idea of lawless drinker, menace scoffer, bad citizen, or what not, with the biting power of 'scab' or 'slacker'." The Chicago Tribune reported on the competition's launch and winners. "Two contestants proposed the word and the prize was divided between them. The winners are Henry Irving Shaw of Shawsheen Village and Miss Kate L. Butler of Dorchester."

It is also the Chicago Tribune, on Monday 21st January 1924, that reports on the creation of the Scofflaw Cocktail at Maxim's bar in Paris.

"Scofflaw" Cocktail Gives Yanks Relief at Maxim's"
PARIS. Jan. 20. – [Tribune Radio.] –
Maxim's bar has invented a " scofflaw " cocktail, three parts rye, two parts French vermouth, a dash of lemon juice, and a dash of grenadine. The cocktail is most popular with American prohibition dodgers.

Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois), 21/Jan/1924

The Chicago Tribune gives us the date and place of origin along with the original recipe. It would also seem to show that Harry MacElhone was mistaken when he claimed the cocktail was invented at his Parisian Harry's New York Bar in his 1924 ABC of Mixing Cocktails.

Scoff-law Cocktail.
One dash of Orange Bitters, 1/3 Canadian Club, 1/3 French Vermouth, 1/6 Lemon Juice, 1/6 Grenadine.
Chicago Tribune, January 27th, 1924 : Hardly has Boston added to the Gaiety of Nations by adding to Webster's Dictionary the opprobrious term of "scoff-law" to indicate the chap who indicts the bootlegger, when Paris comes back with a "wet answer" – Jock, the genial Bartender of Harry's New York Bar, yesterday invented the Scoff-law Cocktail, and it has already become exceedingly popular among American prohibition dodgers.

Harry MacElhone, 1924

To authenticate his claim, MacElhone reproduces a quote from the "Chicago Tribune, January 27th, 1924" saying "Jock, the genial Bartender of Harry's New York Bar, yesterday invented the Scoff-law Cocktail." I have trolled through the Tribune and while there are numerous mentions of "genial Bartenders" I can't find this one. Either I've missed it or MacElhone fabricated the quote. Either way, Maxim's Scofflaw was created prior to 21st January 1924, two days before Harry's Scofflaw.

Nutrition:

One serving of Scofflaw contains 138 calories.

Alcohol content:

  • 1.6 standard drinks
  • 24.34% alc./vol. (48.68° proof)
  • 22.6 grams of pure alcohol
Difford's Guide remains free-to-use thanks to the support of the brands in green above. Values stated for alcohol and calorie content, and number of drinks an ingredient makes should be considered approximate.

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Buy direct from
the_whisky_exchange store logo
£ -.--

Makes a minimum of ... cocktails
Just £ -.-- per cocktail*

* This list may not include all required ingredients.
Price per cocktail is an estimate based on the cost of making one cocktail with the available ingredients shown above and does not include any postage charges.
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