This months Editorial Message is provided by Robert Hess, who operates the website
www.DrinkBoy.com, and is the secretary for The Museum of the American Cocktail.
For your average customer, the cocktail is simply an alcoholic drink. It provides
them with something to do with their hands when they are out with friends, and perhaps
just a little bit of artificial courage. Few take the time to understand, much less
appreciate, the long and involved history that is contained within each glass.
As I travel around the country, talking with both bartenders and their customers,
it appears evident to me that there is an increasing desire to better understand the
historic and culinary depth of the cocktail. A resource like The Museum of the American
Cocktail will be such a natural venue through which to celebrate and illuminate the
value of this beverage that we have almost taken for granted.
As we quickly approach our grand opening in New Orleans, I am anxious to see how this
project evolves, and where it leads. Our intent is to provide a valuable resource
that extends far beyond the physical location it occupies. Through publications, seminars,
web-based content, and even activities in cities across the nation, we plan on making
sure that our members benefit from our organization no matter where they are.
-Robert B. Hess
The Grand Opening
There are only a few short weeks remaining until the grand opening of The Museum of
the American Cocktail!
On January 12th, 2005, we will officially become
part of the New Orleans experience in our temporary location on the second floor of
the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum (514 Chartres Street, in the heart of the French Quarter).
In addition to unveiling the new exhibit, there will be turn-of-the-century cocktails
and drink presentations given by Dale DeGroff and other leading mixologists from around
the country. Hors de oeuvres for the event will be provided by Caf Adelaide, Hot on
the Spot caterers, and Ruth's Chris Steak House.
The exhibit, designed and curated by Ted "Dr Cocktail" Haigh, will give visitors a
close up view of nearly two hundred years of cocktail history. Artifacts include vintage
cocktail shakers, Prohibition-era literature and music, drink archives, tools, and
other cocktail memorabilia from the outstanding collections of the museum founders.
Everybody is welcomed to join us on January 12th for the grand opening. The Museum
will officially open at 10am, with festivities scheduled to start at noon and lasting
until 4:30pm. Throughout the day, there will be several scheduled demonstrations of
classic cocktails, accompanied by discussions surrounding their history and evolution.
There will also be several authors on hand to autograph copies of their books (which
will be available for sale as well). The authors that are scheduled to appear are:
Dale DeGroff - "The Craft of The Cocktail;" J. Brown & A. Miller - "Shaken Not
Stirred: A Celebration of the Martini." There will also be cocktail demonstrations
by Dale DeGroff, Robert Hess, Phil Greene, Jared Brown, Chris McMillian, and Anistatia
There will also be a special Press and Media event the night before on January 11th.
This event will go from 5:30pm to 7:30pm, and will allow the attending press to mingle
with the staff of the Museum and learn first hand details about how the Museum came
about and the role it is intended to play in detailing America's cocktail history.
Any Press who wish to attend a special pre-opening event on January 11th, should contact
Jill DeGroff at JD2design@aol.com.
Las Vegas, a Major Success!
by Livio Lauro
From November 21st through the 23rd the Museum of the American Cocktail Las Vegas
played a large role in the International Bartenders Association's (IBA) World Cocktail
Competition & Convention at the Riviera Hotel and Casino.
Im very glad to report that over seven hundred attendees from forty-eight countries
came to visit the exhibit. These visitors spent hours going through the 5,800 square
feet of beautiful artifacts, mingling with their colleagues and learning the history
of the cocktail through the many specialists present.
Many were the e-mails complimenting us on such a beautiful event. An IBA member from
Italy stated the following in his letter: "Your exhibit played the very important
role of dispensing the story of the Cocktail to the rest of the world, and we thank
you for that, it was educational and fun at the same time."
I look forward to seeing you all at the Grand Opening in New Orleans!
Online Discussion Forum
of the benefits of the internet is its ability to enable people spread across the
world to be able to collaborate together and share information and ideas. The Museum
of the American Cocktail is intent on making sure that its membership stays informed
on not only the various goings on with regards to the Museum, but also are able to
find out what is happening in the larger world of cocktails and spirits. Instead of
simply creating "yet another" discussion forum, we've decided to partner with DrinkBoy.com
and invite all of our members to join the active and informative discussions going
on there. The Founders of the Museum of the American Cocktail will be participating
in the discussions on this forum and will gladly respond to any questions posed by
To join the discussions, just visit http://groups.msn.com/drinkboy.
If you have any questions or issues regarding this forum, please direct your questions
to Robert Hess at RobertHess@msn.com.
The New Orleans Musuem of Art:
The Convivial Art of the Cocktail
Now, through February 13, 2005, the New Orleans Museum of Art has a special exhibit
that is celebrating the cocktail.
exhibition celebrates not only the relatively short history of the cocktail but also
the history of the consumption of fermented beverages from the Late Classical world
to the Renaissance and continuing to the present day. On view are more than 125 objects
dating from the third century to modern times, covering the use of beer and wine before
and after the invention of the distilling technique and the subsequent introduction
of liquors such as rum, gin and whiskey. These objects include drinking vessels in
metal and glass, decanters, punch bowls, bottle stands, carafes, pitchers, cocktail
shakers and such diverse bar implements as swizzle sticks, muddlers, bottle openers,
corkscrews and mixing tools.
The collection is on display in the Cameo Gallery of the Lupin Foundation Center for
the Decorative Arts on the Museum's second floor. The exhibition is organized by John
Webster Keefe, NOMA's RosaMary Foundation curator of the decorative arts.
For more information you can refer to their website: http://www.noma.org/html_docs/sp_convivial.html.
LINKS OF THE MONTH
you are looking for an end-all be-all source for cocktail recipes, ingredient information,
and various other miscellanea regarding cocktails, you would be hard pressed to find
anything better then CocktailDB: The Internet Cocktail Database. This website is the
brainchild of Martin Doudoroff and Ted "Dr. Cocktail" Haigh. Their online recipe database
includes thousands of different recipes, with active links that provide details, in
words and photographs, about all of the ingredients they use. Their ingredients listing
provides data not only on commonly used ingredients, but uncommon, obscure, and even
defunct products as well, often suggesting possible substitutes for what might be
hard to find.
Perhaps one of the more fascinating features on this site is their astounding "Mixilator."
This tool will randomly generate a cocktail recipe for you based on some preferences
that you provide. But unlike many similar random recipe generators, this tool actually
stands a fair chance at creating something that might taste good. The internal algorithms
have been carefully built to follow the ratios and ingredient combination concepts
presented by David Embury in his classic book "The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks." The
results just might surprise you. As an example here is one drink that it just generated:
- Plover Cocktail
Chill cocktail glass. Prepare as follows:
In pre-chilled cocktail shaker combine
2 oz Haitian rum
1 oz Tequila aejo
1/2 oz Cora Bitters
2 dashes peach bitters
Shake with shaved ice to induce hypothermia in the drink and your hands.
Strain into chilled cocktail glass.
So stop by CocktailDB and give the Mixilator a spin for yourself.
For more information:
The Mixilator: http://www.cocktaildb.com/mixilator/ or http://www.mixilator.com/