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.I still find it hard to believe that it hasn't even been a year since we first started talking about breathing life into The Museum of the American Cocktail.
Not only is the first incarnation of our museum getting an enthusiastic response in its temporary home at The New Orleans Pharmacy Museum, but we've also held our first seminars, and even have our first book "Mixologist: The Journal of the American Cocktail" published.
As we move forward, we realize that we still have a lot of work to do. Not only do we still need to make arrangements for where our museum will get a more permanent residence, but we also need to focus on how to best provide our members, as well as the general public, with the type of quality information about the cocktail that we know they are ready for.
One way we can disseminate information to our membership, is through this newsletter. Starting with this issue, we will be running some articles that Dale has previously published in Beverage Media magazine. This is a trade publication that we expect many of you probably don't have access to, and so are glad to have received permission from Beverage Media to present these articles to a larger audience. We hope you enjoy them.
And if you have any other thoughts on the type of information you'd like us to share with you in this newsletter, just send me some e-mail and let me know.
-Robert Hess (RobertHess@msn.com)
The Cocktail CornerThe following article first appeared in Beverage Media, a trade oriented magazine that you might not have access to. Beverage Media has kindly given The Museum of the American Cocktail permission to include this, and other articles prepared by Dale DeGroff, in our newsletter.
I’LL TAKE MANHATTAN …by Dale DeGroff
I got the following inquiry from a visitor on my web site:
"We are having a disagreement with a fellow bar manager as to the correct rye whiskey to use in the classic Manhattan. She is suggesting Woodford Reserve ( which we thought was technically a bourbon ) whilst the both of us, have always used Canadian Club. Her opinion of Canadian rye is limited to say the least. Any assistance regarding this alcoholic conundrum would be most appreciated."
The Manhattan was traditionally a rye drink, it was invented in NYC in the 1880's and we were a rye town. Jenny Jerome an American who married Lord Randolph Churchill commissioned the drink for a banquet in New York City at the Manhattan Club. Lady Churchill, Winston’s mother, had returned to New York to host a party for her late father’s best friend the newly elected governor of New York State, Samuel J. Tilden. Tilden, a Civil War general, Later ran for President and like Al Gore captured the popular vote but lost in the Electoral College.
Now, when I say rye I am talking about true or straight rye, not blended or Canadian whisky. Several companies make a straight rye (at least 51% rye grain in the mash and aged in new charred oak barrels). The most recognized brand of rye is called Old Overholt, but Wild Turkey, Jim Beam, and Anchor Distillers also make a rye, among others Ask your purveyor, which he carries and have a tasting. Anchor Distillers has a unique offering in the rye category for two reasons; first the rye is malted or germinated prior to mashing and secondly Anchor’s rye is uncut with water. That means more flavor but it also means it packs a punch and needs careful handling. Having said all that, these days most people prefer their Manhattans with Bourbon because it is sweeter than rye.
The classic Manhattan was two parts whiskey and one part sweet vermouth with a dash of Angostura bitters. The cocktail or maraschino cherry garnish is actually a 20th century addition. In the 19th century recipes it was not unusual to see a dash of curacao or maraschino liqueur included in the recipe and a lemon slice garnish. Today the Manhattan is usually served a bit dryer with three parts whiskey to one part sweet vermouth. The Perfect Manhattan is my favorite with two parts whiskey and one part vermouth, but the one part of vermouth is split half sweet and half dry and the garnish is a lemon zest.
The Scotch version usually referred to as the Rob Roy started me on a jag that ended with an irreverent use of the name Manhattan for a couple drinks I concocted and would be embarrassed to call by the name Manhattan if it didn’t they taste so good. Watch out all you traditionalists what happened to the martinis is about to happen to the manhattans. What the heck lets have some fun…remember change is good , it is life.
The Museum in the News
We've been getting a lot of press from all over the country, and to help folks keep track of what all is being said, and by whom, we've
added a section to our website to list as many of the different articles that we are aware of. You can see this list here:
Hot Off The Presses!Yes, it's true, our first book, Mixologist: Journal of the American Cocktail, is now printed and being sent out to everybody who recently pre-ordered it. The book is being published by "Mixellany", a special publishing firm that we will be working with for all of the books that we will be producing. And trust me, this is just the first of many.
The first annual volume of Mixologist: The Journal of the American Cocktail is a forum for mixology and barware scholars, Mixologist is written by some of the nation's most respected cocktail authorities. This year’s volume of Mixologist features works by Dave Wondrich, Ted Haigh, Robert Hess, Gary Regan, Jared Brown, Lowell Edmunds, Paul Clarke, Audrey Saunders, Phil Greene, Anistatia Miller, and Darcy O’Neil.
The never-before-published articles presented in this inaugural 200-page volume focus on the origins of six classic cocktails. Additional articles explore the legend of Antoine Amedee Peychaud, creator of Peychaud’s Bitters; the history of Plymouth Gin; a definitive and scientific guide to simple syrup; and a look into the classic future of cocktails. Articles were reviewed by a distinguished editorial board that included Dale DeGroff, Dave Wondrich, Jared Brown, Lowell Edmunds, and Robert Hess. Published by Jared Brown and Anistatia Miller, net proceeds from the sales of Mixologist: The Journal of the American Cocktail will benefit The Museum of the American Cocktail. And not to be missed is the classy and distinctive cover that was designed by Ted "Dr. Cocktail" Haigh.
The Mixologist: Journal of the American Cocktail is $23.95 (includes shipping and handling) per copy mailed within the U.S. via book rate. Foreign orders are $27.95 per copy. Payments are accepted through PayPal:
A (Successful) St. Paddy's Day Eye Opener!
On March 17th and 18th, we held our first Cocktail Seminar down in New Orleans, and it was a great success.
The theme of course was St. Paddy's day, and to celebrate the event we pulled out all the stops. Our guest mixologists were Dale DeGroff, Chris McMillian, and Phil Greene. Together, they presented to a full crowd a series of classic cocktails well suited to the festivities of the day. The highlight of course was the classic Irish Coffee. You can find the recipe for this, and the other cocktails presented at this seminar here.
Don't think we are now just sitting on our heels, we are coming out of the gate running, and have already scheduled several more highly anticipated seminars for the coming months. These seminars and presentations will be held at Cafe Adelaide and the Omni Royal Orleans this Spring. Included in the line-up of guest mixologists are: Dale DeGroff, David Wondrich, Tony Abou-Ganim, George Delgado, and other influential bar chefs from around the world. Participants will be introduced to techniques and learn how to create new and original cocktails using fresh-squeezed juices and exotic flavorings. Cocktails and hors de oeuvres will be served during the hour-and-a-half-long session.
For more information and to register see below:
Cocktails for the Cookout... Chill & Grill with the King of Cocktails!
On Wednesday, June 1st, things heat up at the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel as America's foremost mixologist, Dale DeGroff hosts a presentation on cocktails to prepare at your next cookout! Learn which drinks match best with grilled and spicy foods, and taste sublime cocktails that combine fresh exotic flavors and tropical fruits, while you sample savory hors de oeuvres from Chef Anthony Spizale. Best of all, you'll go home with the recipes and know-how for serving these favorites to your friends at your next cookout.
Make Great Cocktails at Home!
Secrets of the Saloon- An Intensive Look at Pre-Prohibition Drinks
Tomorrows Classics, Creating Your Own Cocktails
* Group discount and free Museum admittance available to any group of culinary students interested in attending the seminars. Please recommend us to any nearby culinary schools who may be interested- we appreciate your support!
Free Admission to MOTAC Exhibit When You Register Online In Advance!
SPECIAL THANKS TO:
Tout de Sweet - All about Sugar
The Southern Food & Beverage Museum will open their most ambitious exhibit yet on June 1, 2005 at the Riverwalk in New Orleans. Tout de Sweet - All about Sugar, will explore the story of sugar in Louisiana and offer insights into an agricultural way of life that has a long history in the area.
Many interesting programs are being scheduled during 2005 to celebrate the sweet stuff, including web exhibits for those of you who cannot travel in person to New Orleans. Get the scoop on Tout de Sweet from their website: http://www.southernfood.org/sugar.php.
As a non-profit organization, The Museum of the American Cocktail would like to thank our members for making our existence possible. We would also like to gratefully acknowledge the support and donations provided by the following sponsors and patrons: