Cocktail Evolution

Anatomy of a Bartender


Jerry Thomas Bartenders Guide
In 1862, 56 years after the first mention of the cocktail, a bartender named Jerry Thomas authored a mixed drink preparation manual. Really, it was the first such book ever published, and definitely the first one containing cocktail recipes. There were 10 of them.
It was a very good idea, the recipes became a matter of record, and many more guides were to follow.
Jerry Thomas

Jerry Thomas printed recipes, not just for Cocktails - but for the Cocktail's precursors as well; Punches, Juleps, Cobblers, Sangarees, Slings, and Flips. His book also told how to compound the liqueurs these drinks called for but which were not so easily found. He did not however explain how to tend bar - or even how bar-tenders should conduct themselves and their business. Future bar books would add that advice, and though times have changed, bartending as we know it began with those newly envisioned rules.

The first bar guide to advise bartenders on conduct was Haney's "Steward & Barkeeper's Manual" in 1869. Haney mainly counseled thoroughly cleaning the back bar bottles from the night before. Since spirits still arrived via wagon in kegs, these bar bottles had to be reused again and again.
In 1882 Harry Johnson expanded this advice to a full-fledged instruction guide for respectable bartenders in his "New & Improved Bartender's Manual." It was the second important bar book published.
BARTENDING CONDUCT
Harry Johnson "The first rule to be observed by any man acting as bartender in our business, is to treat all customers with the utmost politeness and respect."
~Harry Johnson, 1882
"The sensible clerk will not appear to listen to what (the customer) is saying, and if he hears anything in spite of himself it should find an eternal grave in his heart - never to be resurrected even if there is money in it for him."
~Herbert Green, "Mixed Drinks", 1895

"Don't look fiercely at people, or talk loud and harshly, but cultivate a smiling countenance and quiet but firm tone of speech."
~C.F.Lawlor, "The Mixicologist," 1895


"Don't think it monotonous to study grammar, elocution, and calisthenics.
Don't wait too long before you get married.
Don't fail to read every word of this book."
~Herbert Green, "Mixed Drinks", 1895
"Show your patrons that you are a man of business and endeavor to do only what is right and just, but refusing to sell anything either to intoxicated or disorderly persons, or to minors."
~Harry Johnson, 1882

Exhibit material collected and composed by: Ted "Dr. Cocktail" Haigh
Copyright © 2006 The Museum of the American Cocktail
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