The Tasting Panel magazine

Nov 09

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 51 of 92

november 2009 / the tasting panel /  51 Then as Now, New York Bartenders Influence the World The Manhattan Cocktail Classic preview weekend session called "Have Shaker, Will Travel" was not about the busy schedules of gin brand ambassadors Charlotte Voisey (Hendrick's) and Simon Ford (Plymouth) and of Fort Defiance bar owner St. John Frizell, but instead featured these current and former bartenders speaking about past bar luminaries of New York who influenced world mixology. The story goes back to Prohibition, when U.S. bartenders were forced to choose between changing their profes- sion and leaving the country to practice it. As Voissey pointed out, this benefitted the world at large as Americans took jobs behind the bar in Havana, Paris, London, Venice and other cities. Harry Craddock settled at the Savoy in London and later wrote the still-influential Savoy Cocktail Book. Harry McElhone set up at Harry's New York Bar in Paris and wrote books including Harry's ABC of Mixing Cocktails and Barflies and Cocktails. A group of gentlemen who called them- selves "American Traveling Mixologists" contributed a series of small books called Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars 1903-1933, a collection of recipes from bartenders before and during Prohibi- tion. And writer Charles H. Baker, a sometime New York resident, chronicled the cocktails being consumed around the world during and after Prohibition in magazine stories and in his book The Gentleman's Companion. The talk was lighthearted and humor- ous—and tinged with a bit of irony, as these three New York–based mixologists and speakers have themselves done a great deal to spread the city's cocktails to other parts of the world. Perhaps at the May Cocktail Classic event we'll have more opportunity to learn about (and taste) New York's influential cock- tails of today. —Camper English PHOTO: SOPHIE CENTENERO Allen Katz, Director of Mixology & Spirits Education, SW&S of NY.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - Nov 09