Recently a client brought in a collection of classic, over the top Cocktail rings for sizing and appraisal. The rings had been left to her, the property of her fun loving, ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ Grandmother, and could not be left in the drawer disrespecting her legacy. These rings in my hands and the vision in my head of her grandmother, cocktail in one hand (those bold rings visually enhancing every sip), cigarette in the other (sure she smoked, everyone did!), inspired me to dig a little deeper into the history of the ring designed for drinking.
Cocktail rings are as hip today as they were in the 20’s and 30’s when the trend was started, or at least made notable during Prohibition. Prohibition in the United States paved the way for more crime and debauchery than any Temperance Movement, closed-minded soul could have envisioned. The Prohibition Speakeasies were the Studio 54 of the time, the excesses in lifestyle and the lure of fashion ran parallel to the Suffragettes and changes in television technology from black and white into color. Women wore Cocktail rings as status symbols, often on their right hand, day as well as evening boasting their public lifestyles. The rings were chosen for opulence, rich color, size and eye catching sparkle to match the polished silver of her flask.
I have seen some luscious cocktail rings and have been privileged enough to own a few. Worn while consuming the required Cocktails, I can attest to the elation one feels when the ring is complimented on and cooed over. The word Cocktails brings to mind the Mint Julep and Sidecars, Claude Rains and lawn parties. “Cocktails” is still used in contemporary circles to suggest a meet and drink, and the ladies still arrive a la mode.
“Let’s do Cocktails, text me.”