Vol 2. Issue 6.Newsletter for The Museum of the American Cocktail December, 2005
The Cocktailian Gazette
Vol. 2, Issue 6
December, 2005
Published semi-monthly for the members of The Museum of the American Cocktail™
Dale DeGroff

Vice Presidents
Jill DeGroff
Jared Brown
Anistatia Miller

Robert Hess

Phil Greene

Ted Haigh

Newsletter Publisher: Robert Hess
Masthead design by: Ted Haigh
For further information and details about The Museum of the American Cocktail, please visit www.MuseumOfTheAmericanCocktail.org

The Museum of the American Cocktail™ (and its logo) and the Cocktailian Gazette™ are trademarks and service marks of the Museum of the American Cocktail.
Copyright © 2004-2005
All Rights Reserved.

This months Editorial Message is provided by Dale DeGroff, world renowned bar and restaurant consultant and president of The Museum of the American Cocktail.

As the year draws to a close, many of us involved in the founding of the Museum are still reeling at the speed of progress made during our first year. We established an exhibit that attracted thousands of visitors and garnered worldwide publicity during its nine-month run, published our first mixology journal, and implemented a nationwide seminar program. None of this would have been possible without your support, for which we are very grateful! Over the coming year we will:

  • Build a new permanent exhibit in New York City with rotating exhibits and a demo bar.
  • Install an exhibit at Commanders Palace, Las Vegas.
  • Expand the Museum cocktail seminar series at Ruth's Chris Steak House and other venues to encompass NYC, Seattle, Wash. DC, Las Vegas, and San Francisco.
  • Publish the second annual journal of mixology; Mixoiogist2: the Journal of the American Cocktail
  • Launch a worldwide event, Cocktail 200, the long-awaited celebration of the cocktail's bicentennial.
  • Produce the First Annual American Cocktail Awards.
  • Expand our associations and partnerships to include magazines, major hotel properties, and the U.S.B.G.
  • Establish the Museum as the principal authoritative resource on the cocktail, providing education in mixology and stressing the responsible use of alcohol.
  • Enable new opportunities for our members to obtain training, knowledge and access to beverage resources and professionals in the industry throughout the world.
  • Continue to offer you great discounts on books, exhibits, and mixology seminars.

Looking to the future, our expansion plans and permanent exhibits will only be possible with your continued support. To that end, I ask you to please renew your membership today and help move the Museum of the American Cocktail into the future as the American institution it ought to be.

-Dale DeGroff
President, Museum of the American Cocktail



It's hard to believe that the Museum of the American Cocktail has already been around for a full year. But it's true. While we have already accomplished a lot, there is still a lot more that we need to do. And that's where all of you come in. Since most of our members signed up last January, that means that there are a lot of memberships that are expiring very soon. Please be sure to renew your membership by visiting by going to http://www.museumoftheamericancocktail.org/membership/form.html

Thank you for your support!

Save New Orleans Cocktail Hour

by Anistatia Miller

Quick response time. That's what we saw in the 14 days that led from the inception to realization of our "Save New Orleans Cocktail Hour" on September 12th. We at the Museum of the American Cocktail want to congratulate all 124 bars, clubs, and restaurants nationwide who lent a helping hand to shake up New Orleans cocktails to benefit the workers in the New Orleans hospitality industry.

What we also saw was quick response from the general public and media in those few days. Over 680 individual media sources in print, broadcast, and online announced the event to the public including the Associated Press, USA Today, and The Guardian (UK). We heard stories from more than a dozen bartenders about people coming in to simply drop off a donation on their way home from work during the two-hour event. We also got messages from establishments who shook all night— not just two hours—and from one Boston bar that shook all month.

To date, we've received more than 80% of reported donations from participants, totaling over $57,500. In October, we sent a check for $40,000 to the New Orleans Hospitality Workers Disaster Relief Fund, established by Alex Brennan and Bill Monteleone and managed by the Greater Houston Community Fund. For more information about this fund, visit www.ghcf.org/page25565.cfm. The remaining funds will be sent to both this fund and the Emeril Lagasse Employee Relief Fund in mid-December.

With any luck, none of us ever have to experience such a tragedy as Hurricane Katrina ever again in our lifetimes. But it is more than a relief to know that if the hospitality community is called upon to help in an emergency, it knows the true meaning of quick response.

Here is a few words from Laura McMillian, who attended the event at the Pegu Club in New York, along with her husband Chris:

Peace. Calm. Sanctuary. The Pegu Club on a Monday night. About as far away from New Orleans as one could get geographically. Spiritually, though, right there with all of us who fled our homes and our way of life to avoid the hurricane Katrina. My husband, Chris and I were surrounded by family and friends coming together with hope and help.

It was a wonderful feeling to have an opportunity to do something to help our fellow New Orleanians in anyway that we could. And what a great way to do it! Drinking cocktails!

Oh what wonderful potions were crafted by the mixologists at the Pegu Club and the Flatiron Lounge that evening! For a little while, the feelings of helplessness dissipated with the hope of my city being rebuilt and renewed. But most importantly, the feeling of the spirit of New Orleans would never be compromised.

Audrey Saunders and Julie Reiner worked magic that evening on me. The libations were soothing and reassuring. They stilled time and created calm where there was none. Peace. Calm. Sanctuary. Just what I needed.

- Laura McMillian

And some additional comments from just a small handful of the participating bars:

Flatiron Lounge
37 West 19th St.
New York, NY 10011
Julie Reiner of the Flatiron Lounge in New York had a fabulous turnout. The place was packed with cocktail lovers ready to consume many New Orleans cocktails. Katie, Susan and Julie were behind the bar pumping them out, with a final tally of $2500.00. They had such a great turn out that they kept it going for an extra hour so that everyone could sample as many cocktails as they wished.
820 North Rusell
Portland, OR 97227
816 North Rusell
Portland, OR 97227
The famous back-to-back cocktail lounges "Mint" and "820" in Portland Oregon did a bang up night, bringing in a total of $1350. In addition to the Monday night cocktail event, Lucy Brennan held a 90 minute cocktail class on Saturday, Sept. 17th and taught participants how to make classic New Orleans' cocktails. The French 75 and the Sazerac were especially big hits with guests!

199 Valencia
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 431-6891
"We offered Hurricanes and Dead Elvis (our signature drink). We did the promotion on Monday the 12th and then over the next 3 day's happy hours we kept it going. Some people were coming in just to hand over the $10 bucks and not even getting a drink."
You can view the complete list of bars here: www.MuseumOfTheAmericanCocktail.org/Katrina.

Viva Las Vegas!

The Museum of the American Cocktail is pleased to announce the opening of our new exhibit at Commander’s Palace, Las Vegas March 5–8th to coincide with the 2006 Nightclub & Bar Show. There, visitors will be treated to a close up view of over two hundred years of cocktail history. Designed by curator Ted (Dr. Cocktail) Haigh, the show includes vintage cocktail shakers, Prohibition-era literature and music, and other cocktail memorabilia from the outstanding collections of the Museum’s founders and friends.

New York, New York!

A second Museum exhibit is slated to open this February at 215 West 28 Street in New York City, inside Balance, a cocktail lounge appropriately located in what was once a hot 19th century saloon district. The Museum and lounge will be dedicated to presenting classic cocktails and innovations by well-known mixologists. Curated by renowned historian David Wondrich, the exhibit will focus on cocktail history in New York, profiling legendary bartenders and saloons while exploring drinks and stories from the various eras.

Open by appointment only during daytime hours, visitors will have an opportunity to view the exhibit and sample period cocktails. In the evening, Balance will offer drinks from significant periods of the cocktail's history as well as modern cocktails created by noted mixologists. Knowledgeable staff will be on hand to explain the history of the various cocktails that will be featured on the changing menu each week thus enhancing consumer awareness and affording guests a special new experience each time they visit. Balance will also be available as an event space on both its main floor and the mezzanine.

The Museum will continue to offer its nationwide Museum Mixology Seminar Series presented by leading mixologists around the country. Our 2006 series will cover a variety of topics and be offered in New York, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, DC, and Boston.

Be sure to check our Seminars Page for upcoming seminars sponsored by the museum, as well as our Events Page for information about other cocktail related events around the country.


Cocktail 200™!

Don’t Miss Cocktail 200™! The Museum is partnering with The United States Bartenders’ Guild to produce COCKTAIL 200™, a celebration of the cocktail's 200th birthday and the First Annual American Cocktail Awards™ to take place on May 8th at the Aladdin Hotel just a few feet away from our exhibit at Commander’s Palace (also inside the Aladdin)..

DEADLINE FOR ENTRIES: January 30th 2006. Visit: http://www.museumoftheamericancocktail.org/Cocktail200/ for information and entry forms, or email: info@museumoftheamericancocktail.org.

Puttin' on the Ritz
Holiday Entertaining Can Be as Easy As Uncorking a Bottle of Champagne

by SARA BONISTEEL, for the New York Resident
(reprinted with permission)

For many New Yorkers, the holidays begin with turkey carving and tree lightings. But the folks at the Museum of the American Cocktail (www.museumoftheamericancocktail.org) prefer to celebrate in the manner of bon vivants and hiphop heavyweights, with a sparkling cocktail additive — champagne.

Dale explains some of the historic
details of holiday cocktails.

A Bevy of Bucks Fizz's

Ritz Cocktails are served out to the crowd.
"Champagne cocktails have been around as long as the cocktail," says mixologist Dale DeGroff. He led a seminar Nov. 8 in Tribeca on bubbly holiday drinks with authors Anistatia Miller and Jared Brown. "The first mention of the champagne cocktail, believe or not, can be attributed to Mark Twain," says Miller, who co-authored "Champagne Cocktails" (Regan Books, $12, 128 pages) with Brown. Twain noted the drink while traveling Europe in 1869's "Innocents Abroad."

"At the time, a champagne cocktail was actually nothing more than taking regular champagne and adding a little bit of brandy, a little bit of sugar to it and adding an extra touch of spice or bitters," Miller says.

Today, champagne can add pizzazz far beyond the typical boring brunch standby, the mimosa. All it takes is a little creativity. Champagne cocktails are easy to make and can wow guests without much effort. One of Brown's favorites is a festive potion called the Poinsettia.

"[It] is to my taste far better than a mimosa any day," he says. "A poinsettia is simply one ounce of cranberry juice to four ounces of champagne. And not only is it a better flavor, but it's a beautiful red color, and if you dip the glass beforehand into a little bit of green sugar, you've got the ultimate Christmas drink."

Once a home bartender finds an appealing recipe for a holiday get-together, Miller insists that he or she samples it before handing it off to company. By using a straw, you can check the taste while it still sits in the shaker. Any tweaking can then be done before the beverage is poured into the glass. "You never want anybody to be served something you haven't tried yourself," she says.

The secret to crafting the champagne cocktail is in the order of assembly. Add the champagne as the final step. "You do not have to shake or stir the champagne," Brown says. "The champagne mixes itself." To maximize sparkle, tilt the glass and slowly pour the bubbly into the cocktail glass. Toast and enjoy.

The Museum of the American Cocktail, which had an exhibition space in New Orleans, plans to open a New York City outpost in Chelsea early next year. Included in the museum will be a bar, where imbibers can sample a rotating menu of some classic drinks of yesteryear.

Sara Bonisteel is the features editor of New York Resident. Please send responses to her at sarab@resident.com.


Dale DeGroff developed this drink while working at Aurora in the mid-1980s. It was inspired by signature hotel champagne cocktails. "It works well for a before- or after-dinner drink," he says.

  • 1 oz. Remy Martin VS Cognac
  • 1/2 oz. Cointreau
  • 1/4 oz. Maraschino liqueur
  • 1/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • Moet Chandon White Star champagne
Stir in a mixing glass all the ingredients except the champagne. Strain into a martini glass and fill with champagne. Garnish with burnt orange peel, which "adds a slight touch of toastiness to it," says drink-recipe-book co-author Anistatia Miller of the peel. And "it's a chance to show off," DeGroff adds.



NEW ORLEANS – (Nov. 5, 2005) – The Southern Comfort Cocktail Tour, a walking tour of the French Quarter's historical bars and restaurants, resumed business on Nov. 5, since Hurricane Katrina. The walking tour, operated by Gray Line New Orleans, will offer tours on Saturdays and Sundays during the months of November and December.

From the Sazerac and Pimm's Cup to the Hurricane and Hand Grenade, the Southern Comfort Cocktail Tour mixes classic stories of New Orleans taverns and restaurants with facts about the unique concoctions made famous here. One of those famous “spirits” is Southern Comfort, which was created in 1874 by M.W. Heron at McCauley's Tavern on the corner of St. Peter and Richard Streets in the French Quarter.

The ticket price per person for the Southern Comfort Cocktail Tour has been reduced from the regular $24 to a discounted $18. The tour will begin at 4 p.m. at Café Beignet, located at 311 Bourbon Street.

For more information on purchasing tickets, call Gray Line New Orleans at 504-569-1401, 1-800-535-7786 or visit www.GrayLineNewOrleans.com. For more information on The Southern Comfort Cocktail Tour, visit www.SouthernComfortCocktailTour.com.


Sherry, Vinos de Jerez, Cocktail Competition

Calling all New Yorkers! You may want to consider dropping by the Flatiron Lounge (37 W. 19th St. - btw. 5th & 6th Aves.) on December 19th, starting at 4pm to attend a special homage to cocktails.

Tony (aka "Wine Geek") is holding a special competition to celebrate Vinos de Jerez (aka Sherry). You will have a chance to see the five finalists shake, stir and charm their way into the judges' favor. Then, starting at 10pm the festtivities will continue with "A Very Sherry Holiday Party!" at Tia Pol (205 10th Ave. - btw. 22nd & 23rd Sts.)

Please RSVP to Tony (tony@akawinegeek.com or 212.766.GEEK) by Thursday, December 15


Bacardi SuperiorPernodBelvedere VodkaFinlandiaGran CentenarioPlymouth GinRemy CointreauThe Sazerac CompanySkyy VodkaSouthern Comfort & the Southern Comfort Cocktail TourMoet Hennessy USAHeavy Water VodkaPartida TequilaDrambuie

Saluting a Great American Tradition
An Educated and Responsible Approach to the Art of the Cocktail

The Museum of the American Cocktail would like to remind
everybody to drink responsibly, and to never drink and drive.