Prohibition-era Cocktails

A quick page through the history books … 

Friday, 17 January 2020 marked a hundred years since the Volstead Act (also known as the Eighteenth Amendment) went into effect, launching the United States into 13 years of Prohibition.

After the Eighteenth Amendment became law, the United States embraced bootlegging. In just the first six months of 1920 alone, the federal government opened 7291 cases for Volstead Act violations. In just the first complete fiscal year of 1921, the number of cases violating the Volstead Act jumped to 29114 violations and would rise dramatically over the next thirteen years.  By 1925, there were anywhere from 30000 to 100000 speakeasy clubs in New York City alone.

Molly’s Speakeasy Village Restaurant is a playful hint at the secrecy and perhaps even a bit of mischief of the 1920’s and early 1930’s when speakeasies sprung up in private homes, cellars, lofts and backrooms – anywhere where black or white, male or female, could get together and enjoy a tipple and avoid being caught! Hence, the word ‘speak easy’ or ‘keep it quiet’.

Grape juice was not restricted by Prohibition, even though if it was allowed to sit for sixty days it would ferment and turn to wine with a twelve percent alcohol content. Many folks took advantage of this as grape juice output quadrupled during the Prohibition era. To prevent bootleggers from using industrial ethyl alcohol to produce illegal beverages, the federal government ordered the poisoning of industrial alcohols. In response, bootleggers hired chemists who successfully renatured the alcohol to make it drinkable. New York City medical examiners prominently opposed these policies because of the danger to human life. As many as 10 000 people died from drinking denatured alcohol before Prohibition ended.

We promise you our cocktails are unadulterated and simply delicious!

Now with a century in Americans’ collective rear view mirrors, all pretty much admit that the so-called Noble Experiment was an absolute failure. The teetotallers of the Womens’ Temperance Union who predicted a better society, instead encountered crime, corruption and even more consumption of alcohol *.

* The content of this section was extracted from various sources and are those of the various authors and not necessarily reflect those of Molly’s Speakeasy (Pty)Ltd,  or its employees.

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of prohibition, Molly’s Speakeasy wishes take you on a trip to those bygone days with an authentic range of Prohibition-era cocktails

Perfect as a sundowner.

Perfect as a companion to lunch or dinner.

Perfect reason to celebrate.

Molly's Cocktail Menu

Exclusive Range of Cocktails ... as unique to Molly's as the place itself!

Espresso Martini

Cognac, Rum and perfectly extracted espresso shaken with Monin Pear syrup, fine strained in a chilled martini glass and garnished with coffee beans.

Molly's Drinkeasy (Low ABV)

Italian Prosecco D.O.C. with a shot of Monin Peach gently stirred in a champagne flute. The ladies simply LOVE this one!

Tea Time at Molly's

Cognac and Monin Apple Pie shaken with red vermouth and topped with Rooibos Tea, garnished with Cinnamon sprinkled apple slice.

Prohibition-era Cocktails ... with a Molly's twist!

Classic Daiquiri-Martini

The original - made with premium light rum, fresh lime juice and Monin Pure Cane Sugar. Perfectly balanced, served straight up, not blended with ice.

Mary Pickford

Try and resist! White Rum, pineapple juice shaken with Grenadine and Monin Cherry, fine strained into a chilled Martini glass and garnished with pineapple and maraschino cherry.


This classic cocktail will appeal to the adventurous palate - it has a botanical, bitter-sweet finish thanks to London Dry Gin stirred delicately with sweet Vermouth Rosso and that old Italian devil, Campari.


The Boulevardier

The one that appeals to the sophisticated palate ... Bourbon, Sweet Vermouth and Campari come together beautifully and garnished with orange peel.

The Sidecar

This classic cocktail is made using French Cognac, freshly squeezed lemon juice and Triple Sec Curacao, served straight up in a chilled martini glass and completed with a lemon twist garnish.

Tom Collins

A tall, refreshing and uncomplicated classic. Premium gin shaken with freshly squeezed lemon juice and Monin Pure Cane Sugar. Served tall, over ice with soda and fresh cut citrus.