Modern American Drinks

Modern American Drinks

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By George J. Kappeler

Modern American Drinks is considered the most complete drinks manual of the 19th century. Written by George J. Kappeler, head barman of New York's famed Holland House hotel in 1895, it builds upon the foundation laid by Jerry Thomas's How to Mix Drinks with more familiar drinks to modern readers like the Manhattan, the Martini (though it uses sweet vermouth instead of dry), and the Old Fashioned (though it provides separate recipes for Old Fashioneds made with brandy and gin as well as whiskey). However, Kappeler also includes a great many drinks not well known to modern readers, like the bizarrely named "Electric Current Fizz", the "Hot Locomotive", and even something called "Punch à la Vatican".

Kappeler's Holland House was the place to see and be seen in during the Gilded Age, hosting presidents Cleveland and Taft and serving as a meeting place for planning Grant's Tomb and the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. Chicago department store magnate Marshall Field even died there in 1906. However, the hotel closed in 1920 after Prohibition was passed, and its opulent interiors gutted shortly thereafter. Today, reading through the many varied recipes in Modern American Drinks is as close as you can get to stepping into the elegant wood-paneled splendor of the Holland House bar.

This stunning hardcover reprint of Modern American Drinks is meticulously reproduced from its 1895 edition, and features an additional introduction by cocktail expert and historian Ted Haigh.

Hardcover | 120 pages | 5 x 7.5 in