A “New” Chapter to our Mixology Program

September 4th, 2013

Historic discoveries can open chapters to our storied past that we didn’t even know existed.  In August 2013, once such discovery was made, opening the investigation for a bottle of US GRANT gin from the 1930′s with connections to the Chicago mob.  

The discovery began as many have: a guest calling after finding US GRANT treasures tucked away in a home, and wanting to return them to the hotel.  Specifically, this guest was visiting from Alabama, cleaning out her late Mother’s San Diego house, where she found a collection of cocktail-related items, including a US GRANT liquor. Curious, I returned her call and let her know I would come to the house to take a look.   After sorting through dusty boxes, I later returned to the hotel with a few sets of vintage glassware, a punchbowl, and our prize discovery —  two bottles of a US GRANT Hotel label Gin. 

From what we can tell s0 far, basically the hotel was buying custom-made gin from Alfred Hart, who was connected to Al Capone and the mob in a pretty big way. Just google him and the info alone is pretty intriguing. The gin was made by Alfred Hart Distilleries and it’s somewhat apparent this was a front for laundering money – lots of shady connections between Agua Caliente, Del Mar Race Track, Capone, Vegas, etc.  

As our own investigation continues, we will dig deeper into these connections, and how they relate back to THE US GRANT.  For instance, dots are already being connected to our Speakeasy which operated during the days of Prohibition, and also the fact that when our original open-air Palm Terrace was closed, the fountain was relocated to the Agua-Caliente Racetrack and the palm trees  planted at the Del Mar Racetrack.  

Coincidence? Probably not.

With our two bottles of US GRANT Gin, we intend to keep one on display as it adds a “new” chapter to our custom bottled beverage program, making history alongside our US GRANT 100 Day Aged Centennial Manhattan, and our own line of Cocktails Sur Lie.    As to the second bottle… stay tuned for details on how YOU can become the owner! 

- JJ 

* If anything is known about THE US GRANT Gin or about Alfred Hart Distilleries, please contact our Marketing Department at!