Article Categories
» Arts & Entertainment
» Automotive
» Business
» Careers & Jobs
» Education & Reference
» Finance
» Food & Drink
» Health & Fitness
» Home & Family
» Internet & Online Businesses
» Miscellaneous
» Self Improvement
» Shopping
» Society & News
» Sports & Recreation
» Technology
» Travel & Leisure
» Writing & Speaking

  Listed Article

  Category: Articles » Food & Drink » Wine / Spirits » Article

The Worlds First Celebrity Bartender

By Martin Lloyd

The cocktail is practically an American institution. One of the very first Bartenders to popularise the cocktail was Jerry Thomas, Americas original "Celebrity Bartender". Thomas wrote what is widely considered as one of the first books to contain cocktail recipes, "The Bartenders Guide".

When I first came across this little volume (last published in 1887) in a dusty old book shop I was blown away. Here at last was cocktail history laid bare! I bought it on the spot and literally sat up all night and read the book cover to cover. For anyone with even a flicker of interest in cocktails and drinks its an enthralling read. Jerry Thomas is to cocktail culture what Louis Armstrong is to Jazz!

Here at last, set down on paper, were some of the very first cocktail recipes ever recorded. It was amazing, but it wasn't just cocktails, the book contained a host of other recipes, for "Punch, Egg Nogs, Juleps, Smashs, Cobblers, Mulls, Sangarees, Toddies, Slings, Sours, Flips, Negus, Shrubs, Pousse Café, Cups" and many, many more.

In total there were some 230+ original recipes. Some were famous, some I'd never even heard of! They represented an amazing cross-section of exciting and wonderful drinks.

Jeremiah P. Thomas was born in Jefferson County, New York in November 1830 and first learned the bartending trade in New Haven. He then went to San Francisco and the California gold fields.

In 1851 he opened the first of four saloons in New York, below Barnum's Museum at Broadway and Ann Street. He then seems to have travel around the US for several years. Working as head bartender at top hotels in St. Louis, Chicago, San Francisco, Charleston, S.C., and New Orleans. Slowly turning himself into Americas first celebrity bartender! In 1859 he visited London and Paris. He took with him a set of solid silver bar utensils constructed at a cost of $4,000!

Returning to New York Thomas became the principal bartender at the Metropolitan hotel. Then in 1866 he opened his most famous bar located on Broadway between 21st and 22nd Streets.

Thomas was "an imposing and lordly figure of a man, portly, sleek and jovial, yet possessed of immense dignity". His trade mark was a "jacket of pure and spotless white which encased his great bulk". He also sported a huge moustache, in the Walrus style! Obviously a man once seen, not easily forgotten!

The various saloons he operated became showplaces where he demonstrated his mixologist's art. They were very popular with the sporting and theatrical celebrities of the day. To quote the New York times on his death in 1885 he was "at one time better known to club men and men about town than any other bartender in the city, and he was very popular among all classes".

He is credited with inventing the "Blue Blazer" and the "Tom and Jerry" and certainly popularised many other early cocktails and drinks. In reference to the Blue Blazer the Bartenders Guide says, "The novice in mixing this beverage should be careful not to scald himself. To become proficient in throwing the liquid from one mug to the other, it will be necessary to practise for some time with cold water."

Thomas's book was first published in 1862, and quickly went through half a dozen printings. The book was updated in 1876 and the final edition published in 1887. In the first edition there were ten recipes which Thomas referred to as cocktails (by the 1887 edition the cocktails numbered some 20+). His book was probably the first to include actual recipes for cocktails and certainly the world's first bartender's guide.
About the Author
Jerry Thomas' book has recently been republished in digital format and can be downloaded from The Bartenders Guide web site.

Article Source:
If you wish to add the above article to your website or newsletters then please include the "Article Source:" as shown above and make it hyperlinked.

  Recent Articles
Drinking And Drunkards
by atomicgirl

Tips on Making Affordable Wine Recipes
by Longs Kieras

Wine and Cheese: Make the Perfect Combination
by Henry James

Wine Basket Ideas
by Gina Yeoh

When Storing Wine..
by Viv Tyler

What to Consider when Classifying Fine Wines?
by Carry Lais

How To Become an Effective Wine Taster
by Francis Yens

Best Wine for Each Occasion
by Vivian Garth

Touring the California Wineries
by Andrew Garth

Judging A Wine's Taste
by Karens Smith

Know Your Kind of Wine Today
by Henry James

How To Make Homemade Wines
by France Limes

Exquisite History of Wines
by Viv Tyler

French Wine
by Erin Halls

The Art of Wine Tasting
by Urina Ganrs

Why French Wine Is So Popular?
by Harry James

The Art Of Wine Tasting
by Peter Dobler

Harvesting the Grapes at Tas Valley Vineyard
by Lynda Preece