It’s well known the mob was involved with supplying Chicago speakeasies with liquor during Prohibition – but what I did not know is that Al Capone had a favorite whiskey of choice – Templeton Rye. Of course, back then “Templeton” was not a spirits brand – but rather the town in Iowa where it was created. The town’s “Good Stuff” became well known as top-notch moonshine and fetched as much as $70 a gallon (in today’s dollars.) (Source) So it’s not terribly surprising that the mobster had a taste for the high-end whiskey of the day.

So when the good folks from Templeton Rye reached out and asked if we’d like to join their celebration of what would have been Al Capone’s 116th birthday, how could we resist?

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A Celebration with a Side of Irony

Coincidentally, January 17th 1920 was not just Al Capone’s birthday – it’s also the date when the 18th Amendment went into affect – prohibiting the sale, production and transportation of Alcohol beverages.

So today we made the Al Capone cocktail and raise a glass to celebrate Al Capone’s 116th and – in the most ironic way we can think of – to celebrate the 95th anniversary of the start of Prohibition in the United states.

The Al Capone Cocktail

This cocktail was created by John Bush and featured on  I felt it was a great drink to feature the spicy rye notes in Templeton. It’s not too bitter or aromatic, but allows the spicy smoothness of the Rye to shine through.

Happy birthday, Al!


Al Capone

This recipe was created by John Bush in Brooklyn and commemorates Al Capone's famed love for rye whiskey.
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Course: Drinks


  • 3 oz Templeton Rye Whiskey
  • 1 1/2 oz Vermouth
  • 1/2 oz Campari
  • Orange Zest For garnish


  • Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir.
  • Strain into a rocks glass.
  • Garnish with a wide zest of orange.