DrinkWire is Liquor.com’s showcase for the best articles, recipes and reviews from the web’s top writers and bloggers. In this post, Boxes and Booze offers a cocktail originating during prohibition.


The Parameter Motion puzzle box by Canadian artist Kelly Snache sets parameters for the solution, which got me thinking about a different set of parameters for solutions - of the cocktail variety. An interesting fact about the moment in history when alcohol was illegal in the United States known as Prohibition is how it influenced the current definition of international territorial waters. At that time, a three mile limit surrounding the coast was the accepted standard, having to do with the range of a cannon shot. Beyond this it became perfectly legal to consume alcohol. Gambling boats set up shop around the coast three miles out and happily served booze to the customers. The US government and IRS soon discovered these goings on and promptly extended the distance for prohibition to twelve miles, and a famous prohibition era cocktail was born out of spite. The “Twelve Mile Limit” is a boozy masterpiece meant to ridicule the very law for which it was named. Twelve miles is now the standard for territorial waters around the globe, and international spirits are once again welcome right here on dry land.

Here’s to widening our parameters in life. Cheers!


Twelve Mile Limit circa 1930

  • 1 oz White Rum
  • 1/2 oz Rye Whiskey
  • 1/2 oz Brandy
  • 1/2 oz Grenadine
  • 1/2 oz Fresh Lemon Juice

Shake all ingredients together with ice and strain into a favorite glass. Garnish with a symbol of expansive universal goodwill.


For more about the Parameter Motion puzzle boxes and the Apothecary Chest project see:

Boxes and Booze: Paramount Fortunes