A magical combination of mint, lemon and sweetener, the Southside Cocktail exudes the origins of the East Coast country club cachet.
The real story of just how Southsides were invented has been lost in the mists of history, but there is credence to their origination at the Southside Sportsman’s Club on Long Island in the 1880’s.
It is also believed that the drink may have been the preferred beverage of Al Capone, whose gang dominated Chicago's South Side.The gin imported by Capone's rivals on the North Side of Chicago was smooth, and usually consumed with ginger ale. However, the gin consumed by Al Capone's gang had a rougher finish with a taste of a poor-quality made gin.To make the gin more palatable, people began to mix the gin with sweeetners, citrus and mint and thus, the South Side was reborn.
Meanwhile, at Green Spring Valley Hunt Club, in Maryland, where the Southside has been served since 1929, only the head bartenders have been privy to its contents; the recipe being passed down behind closed doors.
The Southside was re-magined by the late George E. Lee, Sr. (1920-2016), the former bartender at the Ten Mile House, a tavern on Reisterstown Road, first came across the Southside recipe in a bar book published by a Long Island club. Mr. Lee got his start in the drink-pouring business in 1939 as a butler for a Baltimore family. Four years later, he began a 25-year tenure at the Ten Mile House that would later close its doors in 1967. It was at the Ten Mile House where Mr. Lee re-imagined the drink based on the cocktails with the same name found in Chicago and New York City. Later, Mr. Lee began moonlighting at Green Spring Valley Hunt Club, where he became head bartender in 1969, where the secrets of the Southside was passed down to him, until his retirement in 1985.
The Southside cocktail and its secrets, is an old-line favorite. It appears in the spring at tailgates in the Maryland hunt country and is still stirring at late-summer, white-shoe gatherings. Once served almost exclusively at private clubs, the cocktail has entered the public domain.
Miss Jenny's presents the Southside Cocktail Jellys that is based on a recipe that mirrors Mr. Lee's mix. This jelly is a gorgeous green marriage of rum, mint, lemon and lime juice and sugar that delivers a heavenly minty and citrusy flavor.
THE SOUTHSIDE COCKTAIL
Filtered Water, Sugar, Rum, Lemon Juice, Lime Juice, and Pectin