History of the Cocktail - Out of The Dark Ages: Cocktails in the 1970s-1990s

  • National Archives Museum 700 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC, 20408 United States

In partnership with the National Archives, Derek Brown, the first-ever "Chief Spirits Advisor" to the Archives, has developed a new History of the Cocktail seminar series to discuss the role of spirits in U.S. history. In this ten-part series, some of the top writers, bartenders, spirit-makers, and thinkers in spirits and cocktails will discuss various eras in the history of the cocktail, shedding light on our Spirited Republic

Out of The Dark Ages: Cocktails in the 1970s-1990s
David Wondrich, Robert Simonson, Simon Ford
Moderator: Fritz Hahn, Washington Post

Though we often think of Prohibition as the greatest historical threat to cocktail culture, drugs, social revolution and youth culture might have had a shade more to do with the (often lamentable) trends in drinking that marked the 1970s and 80s. From the Disco era to Grunge’s heyday, cocktails seemed anachronistic or, worse, overly stylized and superficial in their construction. The question remains: was this a dismal time for drinking or is there some smidgen of fun and creativity we might draw from this era?

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