This fundamental recipe is widely accepted as the blueprint for all drinks and libations to come, and is the base template for the more recent whiskey cocktail, commonly known as the Old Fashioned. The origins of the word cocktail have long been disputed. It is first mentioned in the Morning Post and Gazette (London, 1798) in a satirical context referring to a tavern patron who owed for “L’Huile de Venus,” Parfait Amour,” and “Cock-Tail,” the former of which are both documented as alcoholic beverages. The word reappears in print in The Farmers Cabinet in 1803, but is not described until Happy Croswell defines it as a “stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water and bitters” in the Columbian Repository (New York City, 1806).
The myths and legends surround the Sazerac Cocktail can fill a book. The first hints at a variation come from the Sazerac House at the southern edge of the French Quarter. To this day, the origins and development of the Sazerac continue to be researched and disputed.
The two lead bartenders, Billy Wilkenson and Vincent Miret share accreditation, the latter of whom was referred to as the foremost whiskey cocktail mixer in the city. An article published by the fraternity magazine Alpha Tau Omega Palm (New Orleans, 1899) first mentions the Sazerac Cocktail by name alongside the imperial gin fizz.
The Manhattan first appears in the Olean Democrat ( New York City, 1882) where it was described as a “mixture of whiskey, vermouth, and bitters” and referred to as the “Manhattan Cocktail, Turf Club Cocktail and Jockey Club Cocktail.” As with the Sazerac, origin myths of the Manhattan are numerous, vary greatly and are continually disputed. One thing remains a fact: the Manhattan will forever remain a classic and a staple of the American Bar.
First appearing in Harry Johnson’s Bartender’s Manual (New York City, 1882), it’s ingredients represent precious stones and the Bijou is firmly rooted in the American Bar. Although its presence has diminished over time, its exquisite balance solidifies itself as one of the greats.
It is speculated, and rightfully so, to be an
The Martinez first appears in O.H Byron’s Modern Bartender’s Guide (New York City, 1884) with no mentions of its origins. Common belief pins its birthplace to Martinez, California, where it circulated throughout the flouring bar scene to widespread popularity.
Concocted by George J. Kappeler of the Holland House Hotel in New York, the Widow’s Kiss is indicative of the public’s propensity for herbal liqueurs at the time of its creation. Kappeler published the recipe in Modern American Drinks (Chicago, 1895), which gained widespread recognition when Harry Johnson published the cocktail in his reissued Bartenders Manual (New York City, 1900).
Absinthe began appearing in New Orleans in 1837 and New York City in 1843. It was originally used in small amounts to embellish libations until it gained momentum as a cocktail, paired with ice and bitters in the 1870s.
Jerry Thomas, The Father of American Bartending, is accredited with the original Blue Blazer. This is largely regarded as his signature cocktail and was conceived at the Occidental Hotel of San Fransisco in the mid-to-late 19th century. The Red, White and Blue Blazer of Union Lodge No.1 pay homage to Thomas as one of the forefathers of the American Bar.
The Julep has a long-standing history with the American Bar, dating back to the middle of the 18th century and containing ingredients ranging from rose pedals and brandy to mint and rye whiskey. The first published recipe for the whiskey mint julep prevalent across the American Bar today comes from an anonymous author in The American Bar-Tender, the Art and Mystery of Mixing Drinks (1874).
Joe Redding’s rendition of the julep is described as “fit to drink-smells like a bouquet, and is worth a silver bit” (Mississippi Free Trader, 1840).
Originally written to serve a party of five, the Pineapple Julep from Jerry Thomas’ Bon Companion (New York City, 1862) reads much like a Cup or Punch. The Pineapple Julep substitutes seasonal berries for mint, and utilizes gin and sparkling wine to produce a lighter and more refreshing variant.
Knickerbocker appears several times throughout written history, most notably in William Terrington’s Cooling Cups and Dainty Drinks (New York City, 1869) and in Jerry Thomas’ Bon Vivant Companion (New York City, 1862). Over time, recipes have varied by bartender. This is what we deem to be the most well balanced.
The creator of the Brandy Crusta, Joseph Santini of the New Orleans City Exchange Bar is famously known to have pioneered the use of citrus juices and liqueurs in cocktails.
Legend has it that the Garrick Club Punch was created by New Yorker Stephen Price at the Garrick Club in London. English humorist Theodore Hook was in a state of such, “thirstiness which requires something more than common to quench”, and thus was born the Garrick Club Punch, solidified in history as a refreshing punch worthy to be mentioned.
Originally created by John Collins of Limmer’s Old House in London, the Tom Collins became the subject of a city-wide prank in New York. Bar patrons would strike up conversation, speaking of a Tom Collins, running around the city sullying their names. A bright and refreshing summer drink, our House Collins rotates quarterly based on seasonally-available fruits and herbs.
This cocktail was created by Henry Charles Ramos after he took over the Imperial Saloon in 1888. In order to keep up with demand, Ramos employed up to 35 “shaker boys” and operated the largest hen house at the time producing over 5000 eggs a week.
The Sherry Cobbler’s rise to fame is rooted in the birth and rapid expansion of the ice trade. In the early 19th century, as ice made its way from New England to the rest of the east coast and the Caribbean, so did the Sherry Cobbler. This cocktail’s rapid rise and prolonged consumption has solidified its place in the American Bar.
...some served hot and spiced, some cold and refreshing. This recipe emerges from Harry Johnson’s Bartender’s Manual (New York City, 1888) and favors the bright and refreshing profile.
George J. Kappeler recorded the first recipe of the Lincoln Club Cup while employed as the lead bartender of the Holland House.
...a fantastic representation of what a cup or cooler should be.
Widely considered to be the king of all Caribbean drinks, the Green Swizzle dates to the mid-to-late 1890s. The Philadelphia Inquirer published an article in 1895 of the Green Swizzle, stating that:
Quinine is naturally found in cinchona bark that grows in South America and southern parts of Asia. When the British Navy discovered that the natives used the quinine as antimalarial medicine, rations of quinine powder was issued to all the soldiers. British officers were able to take limited quantities of gin with them on the ships, soon they were adding the gin to the tonic for taste. The lower ranks were only able to get a hold of rum to mix with their tonic. The first commercial tonic water was produced in 1858.