In the 1940’s and 50’s there was very glamorous night club in West Hollywood on the Sunset strip where many movie stars came to drink, to see and be seen and be served by leggy cigarette girls in shorts skirts. Many of the famous would end up in the gossip columns of Hedda Hopper, Luela Parsons or Variety, that place was Ciro’s and it also gave a few performers their big break to stardom.
It opened in 1940 under the owner Billy Wilkerson and was a success at first but it began to cool off as others flocked to the Macambo across the street and closed it’s doors for a short time but was taken over by Herman Hoover. It was reopened on December 26, 1942 under and unlike the Ciro’s in London, this was a hot spot at the end of the Sunset strip where top notch entertainment was the order of the day along with new acts such as Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis in 1950. Many of the stars that frequented were Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Ava Gardner, George Burns, Jack Benny, Judy Garland, Joan Crawford and Marilyn Monroe.
However the club saw entertainment and new nightclubs with gambling moving to Las Vegas in the late 1950s and closed it’s doors in 1959 but it’s not forgotten yet it still stands where the comedy club is. Another loss is the cocktails from the club but there’s a recent reprint of the Ciro’s of London 1930 edition filled with great recipes such as one of my favorites, the Leroi made with brandy, sloe gin, curacao, egg yoke, grenadine,cream and lemon juice. I tried it and it’s so good, don’t let the idea of using an egg yolk scare you it’s adds texture and flavor. Try it and let me know what you think.
1 Part Brandy
1 Part Slow Gin
1 Part Orange Curacao
1 yolk of an egg per cocktail
1 teaspoonful heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice per cocktail.
Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake very hard and strain into chilled 4 – 5 oz. cocktail glasses.