Since the beginning of civilization, the world has suffered through a series of devastating dark periods: Europe after the fall of Rome, Greece after the collapse of the Bronze Age, Ireland during the potato famine and, of course, bars across America during the Disco Era. During this long, dreadful time to be a drinker, bartenders relied heavily on artificial ingredients (no fresh juice here) and sickly sweet liqueurs like Galliano, amaretto, Drambuie and Midori.
While the ‘70s led into the equally bad ‘80s, which led into the slightly better but still artificially enhanced ‘90s, the early 2000s saw the revival of Prohibition cocktails and a preference for fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. With that seismic shift in the bar scene, the drinks that ruled the bar at Studio 54 were all but forgotten.
Then, in 2014, bartender and author Jeffrey Morgenthaler put a Grasshopper on the menu at Pépé le Moko in Portland, Oregon. People thought he was crazy. “The bar owners wanted to do Prohibition era, speakeasy drinks. I was like nope,” Morgenthaler laughs. “We’re doing '70s shitty drinks.” Four years later, Morgenthaler’s Grasshopper is still on the menu and one of the bar’s best selling cocktails.