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1970s cocktail?

I'm throwing a party for an author whose new book is a political and culture history of early 1970s America. We will be offering beer and wine, but I want to add one or two fixed cocktails (rather than having an open, full bar). I've thought of amaretto sour, Harvey Wallbanger, or tequila sunrise, but those all feel very fruity and sweet to me and I'd like to have one option that's a little different and drier. Thoughts? The party is at a hotel where the bartender will have access to whatever we can think up, probably.

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  1. T&T--Tangueray and tonic

    1. Harvey Wallbanger

      ETA: Sorry, I totally missed it in your post!

        1. I always remember my parents drinking 7 & 7 when I was a child (in the '70s). The alliteration of the 7's might be a nice touch…

          1 Reply
          1. re: Tehama

            Sweetpotater, you made me so nostalgic I went out to buy Seagrams today. I must say, this 7&7 is *very* refreshing!!

          2. Sweet, if my family's preferences were a snapshot, it was Rusty Nails during the 60's and 70's.

            Also second 7 & 7, and Cutty and soda.

            1 Reply
            1. re: pinehurst

              If it were me, I'd go with your Rusty Nail plus the Daiquiri and have both ends of the spectrum covered. The Rusty Nail will appeal to more serious drinkers, the daiquiri the middle ground and those who prefer things a little lighter.

            2. Daiquiri for sure; no peach, no banana, no blender, not frozen, not the Hemingway Daiquiri either, just Daiquiri in all it's lime glory.

              1. Well, my immediate thought upon seeing the title of your post was Tequila Sunrise.

                I'd agree with mcsheridan and offer two drinks to cover the range, but I'd do a Rusty Nail or 7&7 on the one end and go with a Tequila Sunrise on the other, rather than the daiquiri -- can't tell you how much tequila I sold in the 1970s . . .

                . . . which, of course, prompts the next obvious question: which beer and wine did you choose?

                16 Replies
                1. re: zin1953

                  I should just smack myself. While I'm a rum drinker, not a tequila drinker, it's obvious the Tequila Sunrise is *much* more 70s than is a Daiquiri, it being an older drink that was still popular at that time.

                  1. re: zin1953

                    Rusty Nail or 7&7 + Tequila Sunrise sounds about right.

                    The wines are house wines—I tasted them, they were fine, nothing special. The beers I have to choose from are Bud and Bud Light, Stella, Two Beers Brewery ISA, Pike Place IPA, Lagunitas Copper Ale, and Deschutes Obsidian Stout. (We are in Seattle.) Of those, Bud is obviously the best choice for bicentennial Americana, but I will offer one of the local ales too. I want people to actually enjoy themselves :) (That said, I like Bud.)

                    1. re: sweetpotater

                      Ah, well . . . atmospheric authenticity, I guess, only goes so far. ;^)

                      FWIW, of all the beers, only Budweiser and Stella Artois existed in the 1970s. Robert Mondavi Fumé Blanc was the #1 selling wine in restaurants for most of the '70s. This was followed closely by Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay, IIRC. Lancer's Rosé, Mateus Rosé, and Sutter Home White Zin were truly "Hot $#|+" in the 1970s. Beaulieu Vineyards (BV) and Louis M. Martini were very popular for their Cabernet Sauvignon, and Mouton-Cadet Ruffino Chianti (though no longer in the straw-covered fiasco) were popular imported reds . . . .

                      1. re: sweetpotater

                        Memories of my 1970's childhood is the two upscale beers that advertised constantly: Michelob and Lowenbrau.

                        1. re: hawkeyeui93

                          Michelob, of course, was and still is brewed by Anheuser Busch (or, more properly for the 21st Century, Anheuser Busch InBev).

                          And for much of the 1970s, Löwenbräu München wasn't from Munich at all! It was brewed by Miller under license in Texas . . . In the 1960s and early '70s, it was still from Munich, but when Miller started making it, and later Labatt's in Canada (for both US and Canadian markets), the imported (German) version disappeared from North America. It only made a reappearance in 2002 or so, and is still difficult to find.

                        2. re: sweetpotater

                          I wanted to agree with zin1953 about the beers. Nix on the craft beers you mentioned. Also to add that if EvergreenDan below feels the 1970's were a low point in cocktail history, they were an even lower point in beer history - but also of course the beginning of the current craft beer boom. The original, pioneer modern American craft beer was Anchor Steam Beer, first produced in 1971 and still very much available. I can't even tell you how excited we all were to discover it back in the 70's, and I'm sure your guests will like it.

                          1. re: ratgirlagogo

                            Thanks for the agreement . . . can I just pick one nit?

                            1971 was a crucial year in the history of Anchor, but . . .

                            According to Anchor's own website (and labels) -- see http://www.anchorbrewing.com/brewery/... -- Anchor Brewing Co. was founded in 1896 when the original brewery founded by Gottlieb Brekle in 1871 was purchased and re-named by Ernst F. Baruth and his son-in-law, Otto Schinkel, Jr. After changing hands a few times, closing during Prohibition, and again for one year in 1959, Anchor re-opened in 1960 but was on the verge of bankruptcy by 1965 when Fritz Maytag purchased 51 percent ownership in Anchor, and the brewing continued. Fritz subsequently bought the rest, and from then until 1971, invested heavily in cleaning up the brewery, installing newer, more modern equipment, and learned about brewing from start-to-finish.

                            What 1971 produced was the first BOTTLED Anchor Steam Beer in, as the website says, "modern times" -- which I take to mean since sometime prior to Prohibition. And there is no doubting how crucial that was to the history of what is now called "craft brewing" in the U.S.


                            Despite the OP's Seattle location, I suppose he could retain "period authenticity" for the party by serving Coors and Anchor Steam . . . how's THAT for a combination??? ;^)

                            1. re: zin1953

                              Too bad Rainier is gone. Cases of Green Death would have been appropriate.

                              1. re: BoneAppetite

                                I shudder at the thought . . . appropriate though.

                                1. re: zin1953

                                  Unfortunately I am limited to the beer options the hotel gave me. I will definitely have Bud for verisimilitude, and whichever other of those choices you guys think is best. I am not a beer person so have no idea.

                                  1. re: Dapuma

                                    I take it you've never had "Green Death" . . . .

                                    Rainer BEER is still being brewed, albeit no longer in Seattle. It's now owned by Pabst, and is being brewed by Miller for them (IIRC).

                                    But Green Death was never Rainer BEER. It was Rainer ALE . . . the one and only time I ever got truly sick from drinking was on Green Death . . . .

                                    FWIW, the Rainier website you reference doesn't even mention their ale at all! Go figure . . .

                                    1. re: zin1953

                                      In my neck of the woods (Boston area), we always called Hafenreffer "The Green Death". The only beer one could hallucinate on!

                                      1. re: kimfair1

                                        @kimfair1 I have those same Hafenreffer nightmares!

                                        1. re: BillB656

                                          You knew you had drank too much when the little rebus on the back of the cap made absolutely no sense at all!

                                      2. re: zin1953

                                        Yes, that's why I didn't mention some of the other beers I was thinking of like Olympia and Hamm's, which are still being sold under those names but are not really the same beers. Ah, the Green Death brings back mixed memories for me as well.

                          2. The 70's were a low-point in cocktail history. Ask yourself if you want the drinks to be good or authentic.

                            At a hotel, the bartender will have no access to fresh-squeezed citrus (unless they have their own craft bar).

                            And depending upon your age, ask whether you want a drink YOU were drinking then (Gin and Mountain Dew is what my friend drank <shudder>) or what adults drank. Martinis (gin, dry vermouth, twist or olive, but no orange bitters) and Scotch [and soda] / rocks were popular then.


                            11 Replies
                            1. re: EvergreenDan

                              To my feeble mind, Martinis -- though admittedly timeless -- are far more associated with the 1950s; Scotch/rocks is more '60s; and Tequila Sunrise os more '70s.

                              Other drinks -- again, at least in my mind -- aren't so much associated with a particular time as with a particular place. For example, daiquiris (and most [non-tiki bar] rum drinks) are more about Miami and the Caribbean; Margaritas are all about Mexico and Southern California; Sazeracs are evocative of New Orleans; Manhattans, Manhattan; and "boilermakers" the Midwestern "rust belt."

                              I admit: VERY stereotyped. Nonetheless . . . .

                              1. re: zin1953

                                Probably right era/decade, although I think both the Martini and Scotch/rocks are timeless, classic, and tasteful.

                                Are there any 70's-only drink that aren't, well, crap? If they weren't crap, wouldn't we still drink them?

                                1. re: EvergreenDan

                                  Well, yes, obviously both the Martini and Scotch/rocks (with or without water/soda) have been around for a lot more than 50-60 years -- the Brits have been drinking "whisky & soda" [Scotch] seemingly forever! -- but there *was* a restaurant chain in the 1960s called "Scotch 'n Sirloin," for example. And let's not forget Nick & Nora Charles drinking all those Martinis in the 1930s! But there is something about the post-World War II era where "sophistication" *was* the Martini!

                                  I sold one hell of a lot of Blended Scotch Whisky (or "Scots Whiskey," as it said on labels of Cutty Sark) in the 1960s -- J&B, Cutty Sark, Johnnie Walker Red, Dewar's, Ballentine's, and The Famous Grouse . . . ALL of which were labeled as "8 Years Old" back then . . . along with Vat 69, Teacher's, and "Old Duff" (our private label bottling). Johnnie Walker Black (slow seller) and the "regular" bottling of Chivas Regal were both 12-year old brands, and once every week or two, we'd sell a bottle of Chivas Regal's "Royal Salute" 21-Year Old -- sales of Ballentine's 30-Year Old were more in the 3-6 bottles a year¹. And the only single malts were The Glenlivet 12 and Glenfiddich.

                                  In the 1970s, sales of José Cuervo Gold skyrocketed -- far and away outstripping sales of Cuervo "White." Sauza Commerativo, however, outsold Cuervo 1800.

                                  Sorry . . . don't mind me . . . I was just tripping down Memory Lane.

                                  ¹ In contrast, we had one customer who would buy Rémy Martin Louis XIII Cognac a case at a time (6/750ml)!

                                  1. re: zin1953

                                    In the period whisky drink category, the Scotch Mist is timely:


                                  2. re: EvergreenDan

                                    And Golden Cadillac would still be open? 8+) Trying to remember what donbert had on the menu there...Tequila Sunrise for sure.

                                    LI Iced Tea. Cosmo is a '70's thing. Grasshopper. Sex on a Beach (or is this '80's?) Sloe Gin Fizz. Tom Collins.

                                    1. re: BillB656

                                      And don't forget the Harvey Wallbanger.

                                      1. re: mcsheridan

                                        I was drinking Harvery Wallbanger in the 60s. The only drinks from the 70s I remember are Tequila Sunrise and Piña Colada.

                                        1. re: BeefeaterRocks

                                          The HW was still pretty popular when I started college in Manhattan in 1969. I don't know how much longer it hung around after that. I didn't do much drinking then, but I do remember drinking a Sloe Gin Fizz or two.

                                  1. re: EvergreenDan

                                    I recall my parents and their friends got into Sloe Gin for a while and drank "sloe screws" ...

                                    1. re: hawkeyeui93

                                      Slow Screws without the Southern Comfort??! The trifecta of crappy ingredients. No offense to Plymouth Sloe Gin and it's ilk, though.

                                  2. White Russians, Grasshoppers (personal fave popular from that era), Brandy Alexanders, Tom Collins, Pink Ladies, and Pink Squirrels. Not a cocktail, but Martini & Rossi Asti Spumante. Have fun!

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: team_cake

                                      Those cocktails, as well as the M&R Asti Spumante, are 30's & 40's drinks. Except the White Russian which is a late 50's/60's drink.

                                    2. Man, I don't know if everyone was doing it, but my parents were really big on Sangria, with every kind of fruit they could find thrown in.

                                      1. Back in the early 70's my folks mostly drank Carlings Black Label beer and German semi-dry white wines, but if making cocktails they had whiskey sours, served up in sours glasses, sans egg white, made with ReaLemon juice from concentrate. I can still remember how much I liked them as a young kid. Gag!

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: JMF

                                          Hmmmm . . . .

                                          Back in the early 1970s, my folks were drinking Robert Mondavi Fumé Blanc, Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Bordeaux; the occasional Heineken, and Martinis for my mother, Famous Grouse on the rocks for my step-father.

                                          I was drinking red Bordeaux along with California Cabernets and Zinfandels for redwines; Puligny-Montrachet and Pouilly-Fuissé were my "go to" French whites, as well as California Chardonnays and German Rieslings. The Famous Grouse or Johnnie Walker Black were my choices for Scotch; Martell Cordon Bleu for Cognac, though for very special occasions I'd dip into my bottle of Martell Extra.

                                          But then, I was already in the trade . . .

                                          1. re: zin1953

                                            I didn't get into the trade until 1981...

                                          2. re: JMF

                                            JMF - Thanks for the memory! I remember my Great Aunt Trudi loved a whiskey sour (and white zinfandel) when I was a little girl!

                                            Sweetpotater - I really want to come to your event!

                                            1. re: Tehama

                                              Tehama, if you are in Seattle, please do!

                                          3. How about a Moscow Mule in an icy copper mug? A great summer drink. Whatever happened to them?

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: grampart

                                              In fact, they're making a resurgence, but Smirnoff used to take out full page ages for Moscow Mules -- with offers for 6 copper mugs -- in the nineteen SIXTIES . . .

                                              1. re: zin1953

                                                I love Moscow Mules—only in the copper mug, natch—and see them everywhere now.

                                                1. re: zin1953

                                                  I have two of those, one sitting on my desk full of pens, I'm not sure where the other one is.

                                                  1. re: zin1953

                                                    I have twelve 24 ounce copper mugs, but I call them my Gin Buck cups :)

                                                  2. re: grampart

                                                    Moscow Mules, and their modern equivalents, are everywhere nowadays. Due to insistence by the owners, I have had to put my variant on the menu in the last three places I worked with this year. (Mine uses fresh ginger juice syrup and seltzer instead of ginger beer.)

                                                  3. Roz: I can't stay, I just stopped by to drop off your punch bowl.
                                                    Frasier: Well, thank you, Roz. Say, what kind of punch did you serve?
                                                    Roz: Well, first I filled it with ice. Then I just poured orange
                                                    juice and vodka over it.
                                                    Frasier: Well, Roz, that's just a giant screwdriver!
                                                    Roz: Yeah, so? What am I, Martha Stewart?

                                                    SCREWDRIVER!!! And 7&7.

                                                    1. One Sunday morning in the early 70's, my best friend's father offered to make us his "famous" Bloody Marys or, if we felt adventurous, a mystery drink. It turned out to be a mixture of Heineken beer and fresh squeezed orange juice. He called it "Brewdriver". It was pretty good; kind of like a slightly carbonated screwdriver. Not as tasty as his Bloody Marys, though. I mentioned to a couple of bartenders, but as far as I know, the idea never caught on.

                                                      1. The 70's I remember would include Boone's Farm, Tango, Blue Nun, and Mountain "Burgundy". I try to forget.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: kwhitney

                                                          Actually, at least here in California, Red Mountain Burgundy was more of a 1960s thing . . . ;^)