William T. "Cocktail Bill" Boothby (died 1930) was an American bartender and writer of San Francisco, California in the years before and after the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. He tended bar for many years at San Francisco's Palace Hotel.
Based on copyright registration for his 1907/1908 edition of The World's Drinks And How To Mix Them, he was a resident of or had an office in Mountain View, California in 1907.
According to the introduction of the post-earthquake edition, the 1906 "Great Quake" destroyed the plates for his earlier version of The World's Drinks And How To Mix Them.
Boothby's place in the growth of the cocktail is significant; his first bar manual in 1891 contained 20 cocktail recipes among the drinks; the 1934 book under his name contains 172 pages of them.
* Minstrel performer.
* Bartender in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Kansas City.
* Bartender at Byron Hot Springs.
* Bartender (or in his terms "presiding deity") at Hotel Rafael, San Rafael, California, in "the gay days when Baron von Schroeder was making history over there".
* Bartender at the Silver Palace, San Francisco
* Bartender at the Palace Hotel, San Francisco.
* Saloon owner.
* Assemblyman in California in 1895. The 1908 edition of The World's Drinks & How To Mix Them begins "To the liquor dealers of San Francisco who unanimously assisted in my election to the Legislature by an unprecedented majority."
* Soda drink counter supervisor, Olympic Club, during Prohibition
1. Cocktail Boothby's American Bartender (1891) (as William T. Boothby) This book was described in 1934 as "a scarce item for collectors" and went through three editions (1891, 1900, 1900), selling 50,000 copies. (Though there are said to
have been 50,000 copies overall of the three editions, in email
conversation with Jeffrey Masson in January 2008 we learned that as far as
he knows there's only one remaining copy of the 1891 edition and 4
remaining copies of a 1900 edition (which might mean both 2nd & 3rd
or just the 2nd edition. We hoped to clarify this in conversation with
John Burton at one of the cocktail events this year, but haven't had
the good fortune to meet yet. Jeff says John has two of those four
copies and we look forward to basking in his Boothby expertise someday).
2. The World's Drinks And How To Mix Them (1908) (as Hon. Wm. T. Boothby)
3. Cocktail Bill Boothby's World Drinks And How To Mix Them (1930) (as Hon. Wm. T. Boothby)
4. Swallows (1930)
5. Cocktail Bill Boothby's World Drinks And How To Mix Them (1934) (as Hon. Wm. T. Boothby)
(If all this seems to bear a shocking resemblance to the Wikipedia entry on Boothby, it's because the bibulo.us authors wrote the first version of that too. Citations for these various facts are listed there.)
Another cover, which we presume to be later, exists for The World's Drinks and How To Mix Them:
Thanks to Jeffrey Masson for providing this scan.