[This post is Bibulo.us' first hosting of Mixology Monday]
In his book Cocktail: The Drinks Bible for the 21st Century Paul Harrington divides the history of cocktails into eras. Working from the current one, "Revival of American Drinking" (which began in 1990 according to Harrington), let's travel back in time now.
We go first through the Dark Age of American Drinking, a sickly sweet landscape stretching from 1989 back to through 1969. According to Harrington "the Lemon Drop and the Caesar constitute the era's only saving graces", but perhaps a future MxMo will care to challenge that assertion.
At least we get some respect for undisguised spirits as we hit 1968 and fly on through the Era of the Rat Pack to 1950 (since the Vesper dates from 1953, I consider the 1955 in Harrington's glossary definition of this era to be a typo). Our exotic drinking friends will raise their tiki mugs to us as we sail back from 1949 through the Years of Reform to the joyous popping of champagne corks and raucous new year's eve parties of 1934.
We whistle like smoke through speakeasies and continental parties as Prohibition keeps its grip on the years back to 1920. Then we reach the Old School of American Bartending, reigning over the years between 1897 and 1919, the flavors of which are represented with a fond look backward by the later publication The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book.
Our time machine makes its main stop then in the Golden Age of American Drinking, from 1865 to 1900, over which towers the figure of Jerry Thomas, celebrated in David Wondrich's book Imbibe! It is from this time of the early cocktail manuals that we expect most of this MxMo's contributions to come, but pushing back the mists of time even farther we can also reach the Gothic Age of American Drinking, from 1775 to 1865, and it is here - or for those requiring evidence, 1806's first known appearance of the term "cocktail" - that mixology's story begins.
The posts linked below from MxMo's many participants provide a wide-ranging introduction to the cocktail pre-1900. Enjoy the journey!
[Since last month's MxMo had 49 participants, we'll put putting up this month's entries in 3 batches: early arrivals on Sunday night, most Monday night, and stragglers sometime later, provided they drift in before the end of September. As time permits we'll be adding tags & perhaps even illustrations.]
The first to ring the doorbell for the party was Stevi Deter of Two At The Most providing us a great start with the Plain, Fancy, and Improved Gin Cocktail. (Note to self: buy a bottle of genever).
Our next arrival is Jon Hughes of ednbrg with a very solid first MxMo showing as he likens the 19th century to a battle for cocktail survival and puts in a pitch for the underdog, the Daisy.
Next up, Mark Sexauer's Cocktail Blog keeps the gin theme going with the Gin Buck and a recipe for making your own ginger ale. Thanks for pushing us back toward the start of the 19th century with this one! (Also that's a lovely banner image on your site, Mark).
Well, the party got wild early with Beers in the Shower. Kevin Langmark brings us A Tale of Two Cocktails, an Applejack Sangaree and one of his own also using applejack, The Newjack. The gin barrier has been breached!
Tiare's here with A Mountain of Crushed Ice and both traditional and new Arrak Punch! Gorgeous photos, Tiare, as usual.
Those tiki folks never seem to travel alone, because here's Blair Reynolds of Trader Tiki with the Japanese Cocktail. Glad to see this one putting in an appearance! (Good use of Google's digitization efforts there, too, giving us the recipes in their original form!)
Doug Winship of The Pegu Blog demonstrates the truest devotion to MxMo - despite Hurricane Ike knocking out his power (in Ohio!) he got the post to us. Everyone, be thankful for all the good fortune life affords you, help out some folks in need, and then justly enjoy the Mint Julep, or perhaps two, one bourbon and one rye, to repeat Doug's rigorous research.
virgin slut Frederic Yarm sauntered in next with the Improved Gin Cocktail. Frederic gets bonus cocktail geek badass points for house-made Boker's Bitters.
Chip and Andy's Universe surrounds us with the Bengal Cocktail, from Cakes & Ale by Edward Spencer and the great old days when there was still a hyphen in pine-apple.
Fred of The Mixology Lab keeps that exotic ingredient in play for the Prince of Wales' Cocktail and gives a pleasing history lesson in the process.
Darcy O'Neill of Art of Drink brings a different Bengal Cocktail to the board, which adds a star next to that note to self up there to buy genever.
We'll wind up part one of our MxMo roundup, The Early Birds, with our own contribution of an astounding concoction you've just got to try: Chocolate Cocktail.
Chris of Cocktailwelten checks in from Germany to start off round two of the MxMo fun and brings us the Improved Vermouth Cocktail, an ancestor of the Martinez. Choose your vermouth with care on this one; the usual Carpano Antica turns out not to be the choice you'll be happiest with.
Rumdood Matt Robold prompts a clarification of our terminology: 19th century cocktails are those known during the 19th century, i.e. invented no later than 1899. Therefore his Old New Orlean's Queen's Park Swizzle is perfectly appropriate.
Cocktailians.com's Vidiot presents with regal grace the Prince of Wales' Cocktail and with backstairs enthusiasm all the gossip that goes with it.
Meade Kincke lays us down with a good Curaçao Punch. That makes, unless we're seeing stars, the first appearance of Harry Johnson's New and Improved Bartender's Manual from 1882 this MxMo.
Oh gosh! Here's Jay Hepburn with something from The Only William's The Flowing Bowl: The Delicious Sour. That photo's so lovely you can almost smell the fruit.
T. Marshall Fawley III coaxed us into the Scofflaw's Den (does it really take much coaxing with this crowd?) for a White Lion and a Klondyke Cocktail. (Pssst, says Dinah, we asked exactly the same thing while mixing last night; a pony is 1oz, a jigger is 1.5oz, and a wine-glass is 2oz according to Professor Wondrich. Now can't you just picture those two little ponies hanging out in your wineglass?).
Thus fortified we can stroll up the street taking care of a little errand and then in the door of A Dash of Bitters where barman Michael Dietsch will show us how to do things in style with a Princeton Cocktail and a Bon Appetit. Lovely place that. A scholar and a gentleman Mr. Dietsch is... Oh! Beg your pardon. Didn't mean to barge into you there on the way out the door. In our cups?! The nerve, sir! We're sober as a judge. Two judges even.
Oh! Looka! In our cups! Yes, yes, please! What have you brought us, Chuck? Java Punch? Good work.
Say, Chuck, come along back with us to the Scofflaw's Den. SeanMike Whipkey's got the Fred Collins Fiz and the Widow's Kiss. What? No? All right, take a spoonful of curaçao and call us in the morning.
We're not quite sure how we got here but the barkeep has just handed us the Drink of the Week: Pisco Punch. We're San Franciscans too, so cheers to that!
Here's the Scribe of A Mixed Dram carrying a whole tray of mugs! Grab a drink, me hearties, and sing along! And it's all for me grog, me jolly jolly grog, all for me beer and tobacco! For I spent all me tin on the lassies drinkin' gin, now across the western ocean I must wander!
Oho! Here come a few more joining the party. We hope you know more drinking songs...
Lance Mayhew of Life on the Rocks takes us all the way back to 1806 for the Stone Fence. No dueling now, folks.
Ahhh, and the refreshing sight of a beautiful beverage! Here are Anita & Cameron of Married... with Dinner bringing us a Sherry Cobbler. (Sorry for the late addition to the roundup; some sort of problem with the trackbacks). Don't miss out on the other 19th century cocktails linked in their post.
And Erik Ellestad of Underhill Lounge brings us each a restorative Horse's Neck. Just the thing after all that grog.
Lunchtime! And thus time to continue our MxMo roundup. There are overnight arrivals plus some indications of more to come. As long as they make it before the end of September they're fair game here.
Tipsy Texan David Alan takes us to two sides of the globe with the East India Cocktail and the East Andes Cocktail. Great tour of recipe variations, David!
Chris Stanley performs An Exercise in Hospitality and shows us some Whisky Skin. Fast times & hot drinks indeed!
Jacob Grier sets everyone, himself included, straight on vermouth & the Martinez. we never thought of it quite this way before: "Sure, [vermouth] could be enjoyed on its own, but why not stiffen it up with a shot of gin or whiskey?" The Martini is perhaps not descended from improving the gin, but improving the vermouth.
Alabazam! It's Jamie Boudreau of Spirits and Cocktails appearing out of a cloud of (legitimate) excuses with a cure for what ails us. Good to have you back, sir.
Paul Clarke of the Cocktail Chronicles was apparently drowned out by some chortling somewhere, but we've found his post now and he's ready to broaden our palates with some nice absinthe and vermouth. A Vermouth Cocktail, Frappé à la Guillaume, and the Appetizer à l’Italienne, you're too good to us, Paul.
Whew. This MxMo hosting is fun but challenging! Please let us know in the comments if we missed your post. We'll do a latecomers roundup or two later.
Can't quite figure out how we missed Cocktailnerd Gabriel's post, but here is a belated Hendrick Cocktail. Sorry for the delay!
morning, er, afternoon and time for a few more folks to join us.
Keith Waldbauer demonstrates the advantage of Moving at the Speed of Life - whatever it may happen to be at a given point - by knowing what almost everyone else posted before putting up his and therefore selecting Fish House Punch as taking us into new territory.
Dr. Bamboo labors under the misapprehension that we had any doubts about his status as a fellow slacker. We are quite happy to float on down with a Mississippi Punch, especially if he brings the Bamboo Babe along with her excellent suggestions.
Steve & Paul of Cocktail Buzz claim to be bad boys purely on the grounds of being late for MxMo; really, darlings, that's hardly trying, now is it? Surely after a few Improved Gin Cocktails we'll all come up with something more scandalous. Good work bringing in 1855's The Mixicologist by C.F. Lawlor. (And thus a toast to Greg of Mud Puddle Books, apparently spending his Saturday wrestling with his Drupal installation. Someone mix up a Suffering Bastard for the poor fellow!)