10:46am – Ted Haigh begins by going into the origins of the cocktail. Most likely a warm whiskey cocktail, with bitters playing a very important role. Newspapers took the role of publishing recipes, but it took 60 years before cocktails were popular enough to publish in Jerry Thomas’s bar guide.
10:51am – Germans were the second largest owner of bars in the 19th century; German wine was one of the most prevalent. But they also were the ones adding fun touches, new techniques, and in general, just making more interesting cocktails. They were also liqueurists as well. They made their own absinthe, curacao, etc.
10:59am – The “only” William, William Schmidt, a German and bartender was one of the most vocal cocktailians of the time. The Weepers Joy was one of his famous concoctions. He made famous for drinks containing the most ingredients and the craziest, poetic names. The secret of his art was his complex use of ingredients. He was really one of the first bartender writers to look beyond the bar; he even put ice cream in drinks for his female guests.
11:09am – He created a drink called the Which, a mix of lime juice, orange juice, sugar, old Tom Gin, brandy, sherry wine, egg white, and a few other ingredients which I missed. “A man who drank three of them asked nothing but “Which?” the rest of the day.
11:11am – Ted chimes in, “He made some good drinks, but by and large his drinks were hideous.” David has a description of him mixing the Hobson Cannonball: “One of its charms is its mystery. The ingredients are those of the Gin Fizz, and the proportions are the same. He who makes it works like an experienced military man… a ram of lemon… drink is poured into a long cylinder, and a glass is placed over it… nothing can exceed the rapid manner in which the Hobson Cannonball is shaken.” Basically a gin fizz that he stamps his foot when he pours it.”
11:16am – The ability to make ice was considered artificial ice, because you didn’t get it off a lake. Sparkling water not from a spring was near magic. When Jerry Thomas was mixing, you couldn’t get a Manhattan. Sweet vermouth, though in the U.S. was just not prevalent.
11:18am – Drinks were rolled at that point, but the shaker became associated with Jerry Thomas. Bartenders began to become more professional and less flashy.
11:21am – Vice districts began to concentrate in Chicago, San Francisco, New York as proponents of prohibition began to creep into society, and their bartenders began to get taken down one after another by the supports of temperance. They looked at drinking as the route cause of all the good and bad in these districts.
11:27am – “Everyone thought cowboys were drinking Rrrye, but in fact, they really liked creme de cacao,” says Ted. And the Pousse Amour; they loved that too. It has an egg yolk suspended in the middle sandwiched with layers of liqueur. David chimes in, “It tastes disgusting!”
11:31am – Our second cocktail is the Martinez.
- 1 1/2oz gin
- 1 1/2oz sweet vermouth
- 2 barspoons Maraschino liqueur
- dash absinthe or two of orange bitters
Stir with cracked ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass
11:35am – Ted comments on how the liqueurs and spirits we’re drinking now are as good or better than what everyone was drinking so long ago.
11:39am – Brian Rea has been hilarious throughout the entire panel. Now they are talking about Trader Vic, Don the Beachcomber, and Pat O’Brien, who apparently was also a wizard with rum. We have discussed many times this weekend how his Hurricane must have been good at some point. Unfortunately, that time is long gone.
11:49am – Definitely check out Mud Puddle Books. They are republishing a bunch of ancient bar guides. Their attention to detail is crazy. Same fonts, same cover, etc.