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Lucky Luciano’s Gangster Punch

By Melissa Twidale.

Why was this man so Lucky? I figure the only way to find out is to try ‘Lucky Luciano’s Gangster Punch for 6’ that has been dedicated to Charles ‘Lucky’ Luciano and see if I can muster some insight to his past. For the sake of professionalism I will imply that the punch was served for one… Here’s what I discovered as I sipped and slurped away…

The modern American Mafia took form beneath the leadership of Charle’s “Lucky” Luciano (1897-1962) seeing fundamental changes to organised crime. Born in Sicily and raised in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Luciano racked up arrest records by age 14. I recall at age 14 I was performing with my jazz dance class at Wonderland, what an interesting contrast. I continued to sip…

A photo posted by Manno💫 (@manno_______) on

By 1925, Luciano was grossing over $12 million a year and had a net income of about $4 million each year after the costs of bribing politicians and police (which understandably can get exxy). Luciano and partners dominated the largest bootlegging operation in New York, part of which involved importing Scotch Whisky from Scotland, rum from the Caribbean, and whisky from Canada.

My journey back in time was utterly intriguing. I continued sipping…

1928 saw the death of dozens of mobsters during what was dubbed to be the ‘Castellammarese War’. Forming new connections with second-tier leaders, Luciano learned of his own pre-meditated fate and had New York’s ‘Boss of Bosses’ assassinated, leading him to big dog status in the New York Mafia. In this position Luciano worked for a stable distribution of power between five newly formed families: Vito Genovese, Joe Profaci, Joe Bonanno, Carlo Gambino and Luciano. This new National Crime Syndicate was influenced by Luciano to maintain peace between criminal organisations nationwide. The syndicate controlled narcotics, prostitution, bootlegging, loan sharking and labour union rackets.

Arrested in 1936 and sentenced to 30-50 years, Luciano got Lucky and was only incarcerated until 1946. He attempted to return to Sicily, but was forced to by the United States via the Cuban Government to return to Italy. Luciano died of a heart attack in Naples airport in 1962, ironically unaware that Italian drug agents had followed him to the airport in anticipation of arresting him on drug smuggling charges.

300 people attended Luciano’s funeral service in Naples. His body was allowed to return the United States for burial where over 2000 mourners attended his funeral. Long time friend and Gambino Crime Family boss, Carlo Gambino, gave his eulogy. Gambino and Luciano were the only bosses to have complete control of Commission and virtually every mafia family in the United States.

In 1998, Luciano was characterised by ‘Time’ as a criminal mastermind being among the top 20 most influential builders and titans of the 20th century.

So concludes my punch bowl and so concludes this history lesson. I guess I could order something else off the Lucky’s Speakeasy menu? Maybe a Texan Mule?

Lucky Luciano’s Gangster Punch for 6

Aperol, Gin, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, House Made Rose and Orange Tea, Lemon, Rose Petals, Oranges, Lemon

Available at Lucky’s Speakeasy at QT Canberra.

A photo posted by @qtcanberra on

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