Odd History: The Hindenburg Cocktail

Odd History: The Hindenburg Cocktail

The hydrogen powered Hindenburg was a notable accomplishment even in an era when humanities’ technological advances were on overdrive. It’s also a history that can feel weird to research from a cocktail archaeology perspective – given that the giant blimp flew from Nazi-controlled Germany. The Zeppelin Company Chairman Eckener didn’t want his flights politicized for Nazi propaganda. His stance got him very publicly chastised by the Nazi’s. Prior to the first Zeppelin transatlantic flight in 1936,…

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Bees Knees and a thought on resistance

Bees Knees and a thought on resistance

Free House, Tavern Law, Speakeasy. It’s easy to forget where these terms for pubs came from. The history of the bar is fully intertwined with free-speech and the right to protest. When a government seeks to controls the rights of all, or some – conversations between assembled groups of drinkers is one of the hardest to stop. The surreal political climate in the United States has me heartened to see famous bartenders like Diageo World…

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A Bootlegger’s Death; Florence Lassandro

A Bootlegger’s Death; Florence Lassandro

Alberta, a Bootlegger paradise To say that Alberta has a checkered past with its relationship to alcohol is putting it mildly. This constant strain between the people who like to drink VS. the people who try to prevent them has wielded more wild stories than I can recount in a small piece. The territory that became Alberta first enacted prohibition in 1875. That fell apart by 1892, partly due to widespread bootlegging. “Yes, I voted for…

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Wedgewood Hotel Vancouver, an oasis on Hornby street

Wedgewood Hotel Vancouver, an oasis on Hornby street

The “Hotel Bar” in Canada took a bit of a beating in the 90’s and early 00’s. By all accounts, it fell into obscurity and lost its way. After thoughts to a high thread count and a hearty meal. Now, Vancouver is at the forefront of the resurgence of the “Hotel Bar” in Canada. The Wedgewood Hotel Vancouver is true to form and has set themselves on the world stage of service and hospitality. When…

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The Waldorf Astoria Bar Book | The Peacock

The Waldorf Astoria Bar Book | The Peacock

The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book, one of the most important collection of pre-Prohibition cocktail recipes, has finally been given a makeover. Frank Caiafa, manager at the Peacock Alley, the lobby bar at New York’s renowned Waldorf Astoria, has dusted off A.S. Crockett’s bar books, and augmented them with his own recipes, as well as many other classic drinks omitted in the 1930’s manuals. The results are nothing short of amazing: Caiafa managed to condense years of research…

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Eggnog worth a riot | West Point Nog

Eggnog worth a riot | West Point Nog

The Holidays are upon us, and just like every Holiday season, there are three things you just can’t run away from: aggravating Christmas music, fruitcake, and eggnog. (Include things, or people, we missed in the comments) Eggnog is the liquid equivalent of the Christmas sweater. No one is particularly excited about it, but you still do it once a year because you don’t want to be the one who disses the tradition. But let’s face…

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Updated Hotel Georgia Cocktail

Updated Hotel Georgia Cocktail

She holds a gun to his head. “What are you going to print about tonight?”, asks Margaret. “I’m sorry babe,” Dyter smirks. “I don’t write crime novels”. Errol Flynn was a famous Hollywood actor whose personal life was more risky than his action roles. Best known for swashbuckling genre films, he was also a registered guest of the Hotel Georgia the night he died in 1959. His first major film role was starring as Dyter…

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South American Gentleman’s Companion

South American Gentleman’s Companion

This is the first of a series of insights into Bar Books by Vancouver based Bartender Martin Corriveau. Trained and schooled in Finance, Martin has followed his true passion out west. He is the Head Bartender of La Pentola in the Opus Hotel South American Gentleman’s Companion 2014 has been an amazing vintage for cocktail publishing, with high-profile releases from Jeffrey Morgenthaler and the Death & Co. crew. One of this year’s most anticipated bar publications, however,…

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Put a D on it | A brief history of GlenDronach Whisky

Put a D on it | A brief history of GlenDronach Whisky

In 1826, the ‘Guid Glendronach’ Distillery became legal in Aberdeenshire thanks to James ‘Allardice’ Allardes (1780-1849).  Just three years earlier Scotland had established the Excise Act (1823) allowing for legal distilleries. Allardice produced the first batch of GlenDronach whisky under the second licence ever granted, after years of bootlegging on the same site.  FunFact: Former bootlegger George Smith was the first person to take out a licence for a distillery under the new license law, founding the Glenlivet Distillery in 1824. This made him a ‘sell-out’ to…

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Honey In Drinks is The Bees Knees!

Honey In Drinks is The Bees Knees!

Honey is the key ingredient in humanity’s oldest alcoholic beverage, Mead. Mix honey with water, introduce almost any kind of yeast and allow it to ferment. You’ll get delicious honey wine. Mead can range in alcohol and sweetness levels greatly. It can be still or sparkling. Mead is traditionally mixed with flowers, spices, fruit or wine grapes. The oldest written records of mead consumption go back to the early Vedic Period, in 1700 BC.  Archaeological evidence goes…

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