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History of the Cocktail - The Golden Age of Cocktails

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

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

The Golden Age of Cocktails
Sean Kenyon, Colin Appiah, Robert Hess
Moderator: Svetlana Legetic, Brightest Young Things


The publication of the first bartenders guide in 1862 by Jerry Thomas marked a new era of creativity and innovation with the cocktail. The act of bartending becomes more theatrical and the cocktails of the time more elaborate. This era birthed some of the most enduring and iconic cocktails such as the Martini, Manhattan and Daiquiri. But this all occurs during a time when new immigrants and industrialization are reshaping the nation. Those forces similarly shape food and drink, leading into the politics of Prohibition and the expansion of “American bars” throughout Europe and Asia.

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