Monday, August 16, 2010

Cocktail History

The first cocktail known to history was described in an American periodical of 1816. The first British cocktail bar was opened in London by the great chef Alex Soyer (of the Reform Club) in 1851. It lasted five months before being closed down as a danger to morals. 

The American exhibition at the Paris Exposition of 1867 included a genuine American bar dispensing New World concoctions. A British journalist, George Augustus Sala, reported, “ At the bar…were dispensed…cobblers, noggs, smashes, cocktails, eye-openers, moustache twisters and corpse revivers.” Sala was amused and delighted. Not so two other English writers, Henry Porter and George Roberts, who deplored the, “…sensation drinks which have lately travelled across the Atlantic…We will pass the American bar, with its bad brandies and fiery wine, and express our gratification at the slight success which, ‘Pick-Me-Up’, ‘Corpse-Reviver’, ‘Chain Lightning’, and the like, have had in this country.”

Eventually, American culture triumphed and cocktails were adopted in Europe. One of the classic cocktails, the “Side Car” was invented at the end of World War I at the bar of the Ritz Hotel in Paris. Not to be outdone, an American variant of the “Side Car” called the “Cable Car”, was created by Abou-Ganim in 1996 when he tended bar at Harry Denton's Starlight Room in the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco.

Few hotels in the country are as synonymous with the city they call home as the Sir Francis Drake Hotel. Known by locals as "The Drake," the hotel defines San Francisco. When the hotel opened its doors in 1928, the city had never seen anything like it. Although the city boasted a number of luxury hotels, the Sir Francis Drake Hotel was something else entirely: a sleek state-of-the-art marvel reflecting the dynamic spirit of a new metropolis emerging from the devastating 1906 earthquake.

My titles on Amazon

My titles at Barnes & Noble

The best reading experience on your Android phone or tablet, iPad, iPhone, Mac, Windows 8 PC or tablet, BlackBerry, or Windows Phone.

No comments: