Twelve Mile Limit


  • Served in coupe
  • 26% ABV
  • Garnish with Lemon twist


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White rum 3.0cl 1.0oz
Rye 1.5cl 0.5oz
Brandy 1.5cl 0.5oz
Lemon juice 1.5cl 0.5oz
Grenadine 1.5cl 0.5oz
Use ounces
Use centiliters


  1. Shake with ice.
  2. Strain into chilled coupe.
  3. Garnish with lemon twist.


The 12 Mile Limit is a prohibition-era cocktail made with White Rum, Rye Whiskey, Brandy, Grenadine, Lemon Juice and lemon peel for garnish. Definitely one of my go-to drinks to celebrate Repeal Day. It was based on an earlier cocktail, the Three Mile Limit, but it was fortified and flipped on its head.

The earlier cocktail, the 3 Mile Limit, was invented by "Chips" Brighton at Harry's New York Bar in Paris and printed in 1927 in Harry McElhone's book, Barflies and Cocktails. The 3 Mile drink was Brandy, Rum, Grenadine and Lemon Juice. The name of the drink was a reference to the maritime border of the US during Prohibition. Past three nautical miles, the IRS or Treasury (depending on the year) agents couldn’t stop any Americans from drinking because they were in international waters and outside the jurisdiction of the dry US. The drink, like the Scofflaw, was named as a act of civil disobedience and mockery to throw the dry rhetoric back in the faces of the Temperance movement and flock of hypocrites who preached dry publicly but practiced wet privately.

But when U.S. Assistant Attorney General, Mabel Walker Willebrandt, threatened to extend the coastal reach of the US, to 12 nautical miles and to demand that all international ships obey these dry laws within those boundaries, journalist, statesman and all-around candidate for Most Interesting Man in the World, Thomas Franklin Fairfax Millard, proposed a revision to the 3 Mile drink to match her escalation. Millard added Rye into the mix, lowered the brandy and raised the amount of rum. He changed the whole character of the original drink. His changes put the emphasis on the rum, which made the drink become more like a complex rum sour.

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