Recently, the new owners of the historic The Statler Arms at 1127 Euclid Avenue uncovered the fabled speakeasy in its basement that hasn’t been seen since it was sealed 85 years ago. That decision may have had something to do with the bullet hole that’s still in the door, but nobody’s talking.
Ohio has a storied history when it comes to bootlegging and mayhem during prohibition. George Remus, the namesake of the Kentucky bourbon, inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald’s character Jay Gatsby because of his over-the-top lifestyle.
Remus moved to Cincinnati to run his bootlegging empire with a little room to breathe, buying and selling distilleries with his intimate knowledge of the Volstead Act (which ushered in Prohibition) and background in the pharmaceutics industry of his time.
Also, arranging to have his own employees steal and redistribute his bonded spirits to the underground made him a pretty penny, between the black market and insurance payouts.
This recent historical find at The Statler Arms is why we decided to name a fresh interpretation of a gorgeous classic cocktail the “Eleven Twenty-Seven.” Based on the Vieux Carré (replacing the traditional brandy with our Underground Black Cherry Wood Finished Bourbon), this is one of those easy to sip quick to hit cocktails that appeals to any Manhattan and Boulevardier aficionado.
It isn’t as soft as a traditional vieux, but Clevelanders are not soft people: drink up, buttercup.
And if you’re a particular fan of highballing cocktails to make them longer and more sippable, the way we’ve been enjoying it around the distillery lately is serving it over ice and topped with a high quality tonic water like Fever Tree’s Mediterranean tonic and lemon twist.
It’s a nice way to pay homage to local history and local bourbon as celebrate Repeal Day.