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May, 2012
Volume 3, Issue 6
What drink am I making?
This Issue’s Libations
Answer to photo drink question
Recent old cocktail recipe book acquisition:
“The Hoffman House Bartender’s Guide” (1905)
Recent acquisition – “Cocktail Computer”
Sidebar I - Origin of the Screwdriver
Sidebar II – Marriage Cocktail
Reader response to Shell Gas Station Cocktail recipe book
Jerry Thomas, the famous bartender/author - Worked in Sacramento?
Titanic Cocktail
Mustachio Cocktail
Eating and Drinking Establishment Sales are UP!!!
Answer to “What Drink Am I Making?”
The Monkey Gland is the proper name, though I imagine some people will think it’s a Gorilla
Fart. But observing the bartender’s physique would indicate monkey.
The basic recipe as listed in The ABC of Mixing Cocktails by Harry MacElhone, Harry’s Bar,
Paris (1920’s) called for:
1 dash Anise
2 dashes of Grenadine
½ orange juice
½ Gin
It appears to be an Orange Blossom with extra added ingredients, but which came first? You do
the research, I’m tired.
Supposedly the drink originated at the Ritz, by a bartender named Frank, who supposedly named
it after a popular operation for men, wherein monkey testicles were transplanted into humans for
the purpose of improving their sexual drive, or performance. Non merde!
Recent old cocktail recipe book acquisition
“The Hoffman House Bartender’s Guide” by Charles S.
Mr. Maloney was a very famous bartender, at an even more famous saloon in New York City.
This is a very rare book to obtain, and there are few occasions when one comes on the market,
and when they do, be assured it will command a serious price. The photo on the left is not Mr.
Mahoney, but Richard K. Fox, Proprietor of the Police Gazette Publishing House. The Police
Gazette was a very popular weekly magazine that always had columns about saloon men and
bartenders and numerous new drink recipes. In addition the publication conducted annual
Bartenders’ Competitions for the best original drink.
“The Hoffman House Bartender’s Guide” was subtitled How to Open a Saloon and Make it Pay,
an ambitious project. Mr. Mahoney’s thirty six elements for making a saloon successful will be
discussed in the next edition of, and it does make for some very interesting
And I believe we should include at least one recipe from this great book, such as:
Morning Cocktail
Use a medium bar glass
Two or three dashes gum syrup
Two dashes Curacao (Red)
Two dashes of Boker’s or Angostura Bitters
One dash Absinthe
One pony of best brandy
One pony of whiskey
After consuming same, recipient is to determine if morning is spelled correctly, or should it be
Mourning Cocktail? Surprisingly this cocktail is not listed in the index. Hmmm?
Recent acquistion – “Cocktail Computer”
Came across this device on ebay, and I guess the color scheme was the first thing I noticed.
Clockwork Orange?
Obviously this device is not a computer, but more in an analog form, like a punch system sorter.
It is 9 ½ “ long, 2 ¼ inches deep, and weighs two pounds. It has 60 cards/pages, with more that
450 recipes. It was patented in 1971, and is in mint condition. It appears that this device was
developed in 1971 (patent # research), and was filed under the category Card Sorter, which
means it’s over forty years old.
On the top of the device there is a list of the following products:
Absinth Sub., Anisette, Benedictine, Brandy, Chartreuse, Crème De Cacao, Crème De Menthe,
Crème De Yvette, Curacao, Galliano, Gin, Grenadine, Maraschino, Milk or Cream, Rum, Scotch,
Sloe Gin, Tequila, Triple Sec, Vermouth, Vodka, Whiskey, Wine, My Thing. Huh?
The Instructions for use read:
1 – The “Cocktail Computer” must be standing up on a level surface
(Do not hold in your hand while sorting).
2 – Place sorting pin/rod into one of the holes for the ingredient (s) you wish to mix.
3 – Raise cover with your hand on the far right hand side. Move cover up and down a few times
to ensure that all cards drop.
4 – Move cover as far left as you can, and cover will stand so you may look at the recipes.
5 – To sort for more than one ingredient at a time, place sorting rod into each ingredient you wish
to mix (example – one in gin, and one into Chartreuse).
Repeat instructions 3 and 4 and two cards will drop, and there will be at least one recipe on each
card that has the two ingredients.
My instructions: Make sure you don’t move the device while the cover is up, otherwise it will
fall on your hand and inflict a serious cut. Immediately after the cover fell on my hand, it was
Band-Aid time!
The device is cumbersome, somewhat difficult to operate, has some unique recipes, and
obviously wasn’t successful. Whew!
Sidebar I – Origin of the Screwdriver
In late 1945 and early 1946 I was a merchant seaman whose ship was sailing around the Persian
Gulf. At a port in Saudi Arabia, I met a few Aramco (Arabian American Oil Company)
employees at a private club nearby, and ….they were drinking what they called Screwdrivers.
Most people are aware that alcohol is not available in the Kingdom, but that did not appear to be
a problem. Russian vodka was obtained from a source in Teheran, and was carried in half pint
bottles in their tool bag. They would take a six ounce can of orange juice (available everywhere),
punch a couple of holes in it with a screwdriver, drink an ounce or two (or spill it out), and then
they would pour vodka into the can and shake it, then drink their special vitamin C to stay
healthy. Seems it worked!
Sidebar II - Marriage Cocktail?
source – Sacramento Bee, March 23, 2012
Neat cartoon Mr. Rubin, and funny! Thank you.
Reader response to the Shell Gas Station Recipe
A reader in Portland, Oregon, Keith Orr, after perusing the last issue of with
the article about the San Francisco 1951 Shell Gas Stations cocktail recipe book, decided to see
if that station was still in business. So Mr. Orr went to Google Earth, and sure enough, that
station still is in business. In addition he decided to also conduct a spiritual research of the
Zombie recipe that was listed in the recipe book which was:
1 oz. Passion Fruit Juice
1 oz. Plum or Apricot Juice (Mr. Orr used Mango)
Juice 1 small lime (1 oz.)
1 tsp. powdered sugar (Mr. Orr used 1 barspoon simple syrup)
1 dash bitters
½ Anisette
2 ½ oz. Rum
½ oz. Apricot Flavored Brandy
½ oz. Dememara, 151 proof (Mr. Orr floated this on the finished drink, which was good idea)
1 oz. Jamaica Rum
1 oz. Puerto Rico Gold Label Rum
Mr. Orr stated that it is a damn fine drink. He served it in a pint glass on the rocks with the 151
float, drank it slowly, and then took a nap. Fine research!
Jerry Thomas, famous bartender/author worked
in Sacramento?
This great black and white saloon artwork was featured in the “The Illustrated London News”,
published on Saturday, June 5th, 1852, and had the following text. “The ‘El Dorado’ in
Sacramento. We have to thank an accredited correspondent in Sacramento city, of date April 16th,
for a strange scene engraved upon the proceeding page, presenting, as it does, a fearful picture
of the state of society in that place; it is, we are assured, “very truthful”. Our correspondent
adds:-The El Dorado is one of the gambling saloons in this city, where thousands of dollars
change hands daily.
There are in this room twelve banks or gambling tables, each having five to twenty thousands of
dollars. The games played are monte, faro, roulette, and dice bearing the first six letters of the
alphabet. Nearly everyone has his Colt’s revolver under his coat, secured by a belt. There are a
pianist and violin players, who perform in the orchestra day and evening. Every colour,
complexion, and country of the universe may be seen grouped together here.”
Hey, my kind of saloon, and I bet with some great tips.
This is great black and white artist’s illustration of a roaring saloon. We have the piano player
and the violinist entertaining, gambling tables are full, practically every ethnic group is
represented, and that is possibly the famous Jerry Thomas behind the bar, pouring a special
concoction from beaker to beaker, dressed in top fur hat and beard. We also seem to have an
assistant bartender, but notice no foot rail or spittoons (was everyone spitting on the floor ?), and
is that a child in the foreground, or a vertically challenged adult ? And I would imagine the
establishment was quite aromatic with the smell of beer and whiskey, unwashed bodies, smoke
(though it appears no one is smoking), outhouses, and the delicate aromas from the Sacramento
Smelling salts, please.
Jerry Thomas
The real story here may be that Jerry Thomas might have been employed at this saloon. In an
attempt to trace this theory, we should have a thumbnail sketch of his life, but one must
remember that his career is based upon fact, fiction, supposition, and a good imagination. To
start, we know the Professor was an excellent promoter, as is Donald Trump in today’s world.
His first position in the trade was as assistant bartender in a couple of New Haven taverns, where
most drinks were served at tables. When he was 24 years old, he decided to seek a more exciting
future in California. Most likely he joined one of the numerous “49er Gold Rush” contingents
that were heading west at this time.
In March of 1849, Jerry boarded the bark Ann Smith in New Haven, and arrived in San
Francisco several months later. After the lengthy voyage and short of funds, he looked for
employment in the city. To his good fortune, bartenders were in short supply, as almost everyone
was leaving for the gold fields. so he had little trouble in finding work. Because of his prior
bartending experience, Jerry was hired as assistant bartender at a famous establishment, the El
Dorado on Portsmouth Square, then the heart of San Francisco. The El Dorado was a large
canvas and wood structure, with extensive decorations, a long beautifully ornate bar, nude oil
paintings, curtained booths, chandeliers, gaming tables, orchestra stages, dancers, live
performers, and attractive waiter girls. San Francisco and the El Dorado experienced numerous
fires in the early years, and eventually the saloon building was reconstructed of stone and brick
(one wonders if some of these conflagrations were caused by Thomas’ concocting his famous
Blue Blazers). Within months, Jerry became the Principal Bartender’s First Assistant, and a
couple of months later, Principal Bartender, a reward for his hard work, constant attempts to
create better tasting concoctions, more attractive presentations, his imposing presence behind the
bar, and obviously some self promotion.
But in late 1851, thinking his fortune would be better obtained in the California gold fields, he
set out for Yuba City in Sutter County for a brief period, then supposedly he moved 75 miles east
to Downieville, with the intent of becoming involved with gold mining (researching all the
mining records of the various agencies of the time, indicates there are no records of him having a
mining claim anywhere in the Sierras).
Jerry claims to have worked at Craycrofts Saloon in Downieville as a bartender, but the
extensive ledgers of the business (obtained from the Bancroft Collection at UC Berkeley) does
not list him as an employee. But the ledger indicates, as it did with numerous other individuals,
that a Mr. Jerry ran up a bar bill from the period of November 11th 1851, to December 7th, 1851,
when the bill was settled. In addition JT never mentions the magnificent one piece 70’ bar, Mr.
Cheever, Craycrofts partner, or the lynching of a female named Juanita in Downieville on July
5th, 1851, which became worldwide news. Surprisingly, the Craycroft Saloon is still in operation
in Downieville., and it is still a neat saloon.
I surmise he may have made an attempt to become a miner during the year 1851, but realized he
was not quite sure that was the life he wanted to lead, especially because who was he going to
impress among thousands of miners. Plus Downieville in the winter, as were other mining towns,
was wet, dirty, muddy, noisy, crowded, lots of snow, freezing temperatures, steep hills, minimal
housing, and few chances of really striking it rich. So it would make sense to return to
bartending, and the stage where he could become important, and noted.
The nearest major city would have been Sacramento, which was already a bustling metropolis by
1851, with 58 hotels, 36 boarding houses, 14 saloons, 29 restaurants (mostly with bars), 7
churches, 4 newspapers, 5 courts, 36 grocers, 47 lawyers, 106 merchants, 80 physicians, etc., etc.
(City Directory of 1850/1851). San Francisco received all the attention, but its primary claim to
fame was as an arrival point for gold seekers, and as well as the port for all the gold being
shipped back east. Sacramento was the booming departure town for most people, had all the
necessary provisions, tools, equipment, food, clothing, livestock, wagons, etc., to travel and work
mine fields. And even more important, the city had transportation facilities to almost all the
major mining towns, and……steamboat service to San Francisco.
It was possible that Mr. Thomas worked at the El Dorado Saloon in Sacramento for about a year,
and at the same time he provided financial support (grubstakes) to some mining groups for food,
clothing and mining tools. Fortunately within that year, some of the miners made a decent strike,
and Jerry was able to accumulate enough money for his investment, so he decided to try the
minstrel business for a brief period. But as most bartenders know, once you have been a
bartender, it is difficult to leave the trade, and quite soon Mr. Thomas was on his way back east
to continue his bartending career
Titanic Cocktail
Back in the 1960’s when I was still bartending on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, every April I
would feature our Titanic Cocktail, made in the following fashion:
Half fill a double old fashioned glass with ice cubes
Pour in the glass a ½ oz. each of Midori and Blue Curacao
Then an ounce of vodka. Add 7up so liquid is ¾ high in the glass
Then for garnish add a small plastic boat, and 3 or 4 white Life Savers Candies.
With the color combination of blue/green, the liquid looks like an ocean, and the boat and Life
Savers complete the scene.
Mustachio Cocktail
I recently came across this unique cocktail online, and I believe it’s worth considering. I believe
it was was created by Kyle Ford, Mixologist for Remy Cointreau. The recipe contains:
1 ½ oz, Four Roses Bourbon
1 oz. Cointreau
¾ oz. Campari
½ oz lemon juice
Shake and strain into pre chilled cocktail glass. Carve and serve with this unique lemon peel
Bar/Restaurant Sales are UP!
In 2011, Bar/Restaurant sales increased 3.4%, versus a 1.8% increase in 2010. Most every
category showed strong increases, ie:
fast casual, full service, casual dining, limited service, and basic eating and drinking
establishments. Next month we will publish the first quarter 2011 Advance Monthly Sales For
Retail And Food Services, U.S. Department of Commerce.