Enhancing Your Game Night

At Puzzling Pursuits, we create exciting, immersive puzzle adventures. Our games transport you into the midst of a compelling story, during a specific time period, and make you the protagonist. In an effort to create an even more immersive and exciting experience, we created Enhance Your Game Night, a curated list of recipe, costume, and music recommendations that are custom tailored to the settings and events within our games. Whether you're just interested in adding a fun drink to your solo evening, or you want to cook a full-blown meal, dress-up, and have themed music for a multi-member adventure, you can pick and choose elements to suit your interests. We sincerely hope you enjoy! 
  

Step Into The 1920s 

The Roaring '20s were an exciting time in America. Jazz and swing were on the rise, a wealth of innovation was being spurred by the increased prevalence of electricity in households, and even though alcohol had technically been outlawed, the partying (and drinking) scene was flourishing! The time period was also host to a variety of more nefarious characters, including notorious mobsters like Al Capone. This is the scene in which our La Famiglia game series takes place. 

The series currently includes two games: La Famiglia, and its sequel, The Takedown. The following set of recommendations are custom picked to immerse you, the puzzler, into this world, while providing some fun facts along the way. You will find recommendations for: 

Beverages

Food

Attire

Music

 

Beverages 

The 1920s are often credited with bringing cocktails into the mainstream. Ironically, the outlawing of alcohol during prohibition spurred a wealth of growth and innovation. It's estimated that for every bar that closed because of prohibition, six speakeasies sprung up. The illicit hard alcohol of the time, however, was crude and often tasted terrible. Because of this, speakeasies mixed a variety of different ingredients with the spirits. This is how many cocktails were brought to life. 

Old Fashioned

The Old Fashioned was invented before the 1920s, but was very popular in the era. It is considered one of the oldest, most classic and iconic cocktails out there and therefore kicks off our list! You can follow a recipe here

Southside

The Southside cocktail, also known as the Southside Fizz, was rumored to be the favorite of the infamous mob boss Al Capone. Al Capone operated primarily on the Southside of Chicago, and his smuggled gin was cruder than the gin pedaled on the Northside. To be appetizing, his gin therefore needed some extra sprucing up, and the Southside Cocktail was born! 

Sidecar

This Cognac, orange and lemon based drink was also a favorite during the 1920s. The exact origin of the drink is debated, but it is often said that it was named after an American Army captain in World War I who famously rode around in his sidecar. If you'd like to give this drink a try, check out the recipe here
 

Mary Pickford

Mary Pickford was dubbed "America's Sweetheart" during the silent film era, and was a famous figure throughout the 1920s. There is a frequently related story that the Mary Pickford cocktail was invented in Havana in the 1920s when Mary was visiting, though subsequent research has thrown this recounting into question. You can find a recipe for this rum-based drink here
 

Alcohol-Free Refreshments

If you aren't so into cocktails, don't fret! The decade when alcohol was prohibited did also include non-alcoholic drinks. :) This site offers four delightful prohibition era drink recipes that could have been found at your local soda fountain. These include the Cider Frappe: a slushy apple drink that is both tart and sweet, the Klondike Fizz: which included a refreshing mix of orange, lemon and strawberry, the Prohibition Sour: a tart lemon/lime/orange juice, and the Minnehaha Maid: which included a mix of cranberry and grape juice, capitalizing on the reduction in demand for grapes when wine was outlawed. Enjoy!

Additional Recommendations

Alcoholic additions:

  • If none of the above cocktails tickle your fancy, don't worry, there are a ton of alternative options to choose from! This list includes an additional two dozen recipes from the era.

Alcohol-free additions:

  • Likewise, there are a dizzying array of alcohol-free alternatives to the ones listed above. This site includes 30 that you can try out yourself! 

Food  

Oysters Rockefeller

 If you're looking to get a bit fancy for your 1920's soiree, look no further than Oysters Rockefeller! This dish was named after the then-most wealthy American, John D. Rockefeller. The dish was both incredibly rich, and incredibly sought after. The original recipe was a closely guarded secret by the restaurant which invented it, but you can find a delicious adaptation here

Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs can be dated as far back as ancient Rome, and their popularity was strong throughout the 1920s. These tasty appetizers were served at glamorous parties. Hosts served small dishes such as these to act as a continuous balance to the copious amounts of alcohol being consumed. If you're planning a '20s event, these can make an excellent addition. A recipe can be found here.  

Cheese Balls

Definitely add these delicious and versatile snacks to your 1920's appetizer list. With an astonishing number of variations and flavors, these can be custom tailored to your tastes and to complement the rest of your menu. This site provides several options including blue-cheese apricot, bacon-cheddar, and peppered herb. Feel free to mix and match or even improvise a flavor all your own!

Sunday Ham Dinner

If you're looking to go all-out for your game night, look no further than this site. Included is a full, classic, 1920s Sunday evening meal, pulled directly from a 1927 cookbook titled "The Fifty Two Sunday Dinners". You'll find recipes for several appetizers and sides, including stuffed celery, fried cauliflower and walnut bread. You'll also find a baked ham for the main course, and a caramel custard for dessert. 

Seven Layer Gelatin Salad

The 1920s marked an expansion of the prevalence of refrigerators in homes. With this expansion, home cooks were able to drastically increase the variety of foods they could prepare and keep. Instant jello was also invented in the early 1900s, making what was once purely a high-society commodity available to the masses. These factors led to an explosion in the popularity of gelatin salad. You can find a colorful seven-layer recipe here

Upside Down Pineapple Cake

 

Many associate upside down pineapple cake with the 1950s and 60s, but it actually was invented and gained popularity in the 1920s! James dole, also known as the "Pineapple King" and founder of Dole Food Company, began canning Hawaiian pineapple during this era. The influx of canned pineapple is what brought the wonderful upside down pineapple cake into being. You can check out a great recipe here

Additional Recommendations

If you've tried all of the above and are looking for more, or are just looking for something a bit different for you get-together, check out this list of classic vintage recipes. 

Attire

If you'd really like to get in character for the game, a DIY 1920s costume may be the perfect thing for you! This link will take our female enthusiasts to a great DIY article, posting suggestions for everything from casual skirts and blouses, to flapper dresses and gangster looks. For our male puzzlers, this link is a great guide. You can pick working, middle, or upper class vibes, from classy affairs to sporty or more casual looks. 

Music

If you're looking to add to the ambiance of your game night, we have some recommendations for you! Jazz boomed in the 1920s and other forms such as swing also flourished. If you're looking for some 1920's classics, give these two playlists a shot (playlist 1, playlist 2). If you want to try something that's a bit more new-age, give this upbeat 1920's electro-swing playlist a shot. 

 

 

 

Written by Puzzling Pursuits