How to Drink Like a Gangster Series... from the Perspectives' Happy Hour Bar
How you doin’? Here’s the bag man who never got caught holding the bag. Meyer Lansky was known as "The Accountant." He was an American mobster who, along with his associate Charles "Lucky" Luciano, was instrumental in the development of the Mafia Crime Syndicate in the United States.
A member of the Jewish mob, Lansky developed a gambling empire that stretched around the world. He was said to have had a strong influence with the Italian-American Mafia and played a large role in the consolidation of the criminal underworld. The full extent of his role has been the subject of much debate, as Lansky himself denied many of the accusations against him. Lansky was never found guilty of anything more serious than illegal gambling.
Despite his nickname, the “Little Man,” Meyer Lansky was a huge figure in organized crime history. An émigré from Poland, Lansky grew up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan with little formal schooling. He quickly attached himself to gangs of Jewish and Italian racketeers, who were active in the underworld during Prohibition. Lansky started running gambling operations, and eventually owned casinos in pre-Castro Cuba and the Bahamas, as well as financial interests in the Flamingo Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
He has a legacy of being one of the most financially successful gangsters in American history. Before he fled Cuba, Lansky was said to be worth an estimated $20 million (equivalent to $200 million today). When he died in 1983, his family learned that his estate was only worth around $57,000. Where did all that money go?
According to his daughter, Sandi Lansky, Meyer favored scotch, specifically Dewar’s. Scotch was a perennial favorite drink for many gangsters and Dewar’s has long been one of the most popular whiskeys in the United States, especially during the post-World World II era. Though Lanksy preferred his drinks straight, his name inspired a few modern cocktails he favored, including this one found on the menu of the DGS Delicatessen, in Washington, D.C.
The Meyer Lansky Sour
2 ounces gin
1-1/2 ounces Meyer lemon juice
1 dash orange bitters
Splash simple syrup
maraschino cherries and orange wheel, garnish
ChefSecret: I prefer to use one large ice cube made from distilled water to make it clear.
Quip of the Day: When a gangster puts out a hit on Daffy Duck, what was his one condition? Just send me the bill.
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