The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book (long!)

Marc Cenedella mcenedella at MBA1998.HBS.EDU
Mon Aug 30 01:46:56 UTC 1999


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From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU]On Behalf
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Sent: Sunday, August 29, 1999 9:05 PM
Subject: The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book (long!)

     The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel didn't have this book, but the NYPL
Annex did.
 The book is excellent for drink etymologies.
     (FWIW: A letter-to-the-editor appears in the City Section of today's
Sunday New York Times on the drinkability of the lime "rickey.")

The Whole Flavored with Dashes of History Mixed in a Shaker of Anecdote and
Served with a Chaser of Iluminative Information.

By Albert Stevens Crockett (Historian of the Old Waldorf-Astoria)

Pg. 35  ADONIS...Named in honor of a theatrical offering which first made
Henry E. Dixey and Fanny Ward famous.

Pg. 38  BIRD...So named by the person on whom it was first tried.  "That's a
bird!" he exclaimed, smacking his lips.

Pg. 39  JACK...Supposed to have been called that from knockout effects
consequent upon indulgence.

Pg. 40  BRIGHTON...So called from the race course near Brighton Beach, where
many Bar habitues spent their afternoons when that track topped the racing

Pg. 41  BRONX...Many claimants to the honor of inventing the Bronx have
arisen.  It was an Old Waldorf tradition that the inventor was Johnnie Solon
(or Solan), popular as one of the best mixers behind its bar
counter for most
of the latter's history.  This is Solon's own story of the Creation--of the
     "We had a cocktail in those days called the Duplex, which had a pretty
fair demand.  One day, I was making one for a customer when in came
Traverson, head waiter of the Empire Room--the main dining room in the
original Waldorf.  A Duplex was composed of equal parts of French
and Italian
Vermouth, shaken up with squeezed orange peel, or two dashes of Orange
Bitters.  Traverson said, 'Why don't you get up a new cocktail?  I have a
customer who says you can't do it.'
     "'Can't I?' I replied.
     "Well, I finished the Duplex I was making, and a thought came to me.  I
poured into a mizing glass the equivalent of two jiggers of Gordon
Gin.  Then
I filled the jigger with orange juice, so that it made one-third or orange
juice and two-thirds of Gin.  Then into the mixture I put a dash each of
Italian and French Vermouth, shaking the thing up.  I didn't taste
it myself,
but I poured it into a cocktail glass and handed it to Traverson and said:
'You are a pretty good judge.  (He was.)  See what you think of that.'
Traverson tasted it.  Then he swallowed it whole.
     "'By God!' he said, 'you've really got something new!  That will make a
big hit.  Make me another and I will take it back to that customer in the
dining room.  Bet you'll sell a lot of them.  Have you got plenty
of oranges?
 If you haven't, you better stock up, because I'm going to sell a lot of
those cocktails during lunch.'
     "The demand for Bronx cocktails started that day.  Pretty soon we were
using a whole case of oranges a day.  And then several cases.
     "The name?  No, it wasn't really named directly after the
borough or the
river so-called.  I had been at the Bronx Zoo a day or two before,
and I saw,
of course, a lot of beasts I had never known.  Customers used to tell me of
the strange animals they saw after a lot of mixed drinks.  So when Traverson
said to me, as he started to take the drink in to the customer, 'What'll I
tell him is the name of this drink?'  I thought of those animals, and said:
'Oh, you can tell him it is a "Bronx."'"

Pg. 43  CHANLER..."Sheriff Bob" Chanler, artist, married Lina Cavalieri, of
the Metropolitan and made the front pages early in the century.

Pg. 43  CHANTICLEER...Celebrated the local opening of Edmund Rostand's

Pg. 45  CLOVER CLUB...A Philadelphia importation, originated in the bar of
the old Bellevue-Stratford, where the Clover Club, composed of literary,
legal, financial and business lights of the Quaker City, often dined and
wined, and wined again.

Pg. 47  DEFENDER...The name of an American yacht which took care of one of
Sir Thomas Lipton's early but seemingly endless "Shamrocks."

Pg. 48  DORLANDO...After the Italian marathon runner in the Olympic games in
London, 1908.

Pg. 48  DOWN...What else, in faith, than a county in
Ireland--ancient home of
many American bartenders?

Pg. 50  FLOATER...There is equal authority for a contention that this was
called after a racehorse owned by the late James R. Keene, or after an
individual numerically important, and who was transported into various
precincts at different hours of Election Day and thereby enabled to vote
early and often, as the saying was.

Pg. 52  HALSEY...Named in compliment to a well known stock-broker and patron
of the Bar.

Pg. 52  HAMLIN...Took its name from Harry Hamlin of Buffalo, an enthusiastic
automobilist in the days when there were far more enthusiasts than

Pp. 53-54  HOFFMAN HOUSE...Conceived at the old Hotel in Madison
Square whose
bar was famous before the Old Waldorf was built, for the length of its brass
rail, the Bougereau painting of nudities on the wall, and the notability of
many of its patrons.  Served at Old Waldorf Bar, but was not in the original
Bar Book.

Pg. 55  JAPALAC...So styled in compliment to a salesman who sold a
product of
that name; not because it would enamel a digestive apparatus.

Pg. 57  LOFTUS...Called in compliment to Cissie Loftus, famous English
comedienne and mimic, long a popular top-liner.

Pg. 57  LONE TREE...After the 1899 equaivalent of a "nineteenth
hole"--a tree
which stood alone in a secluded part of a golf course near Philadelphia.
Players on that course frequented the Old Waldorf Bar.

Pp. 57-58  MACLEAN...In honor of John R. MacLean, long proprietor of the
Cincinnati _Enquirer_ and the Washington _Post_.

Pg. 58  MANHATTAN...Origin somewhat obscure.  Probably first called after a
well known club of that name, and not after an island famed for
many years as
the abode and domain of a certain "Tiger."

Pg. 60  METROPOLE...Attributed to a once well known and somewhat lively
hotel, whose bar was long a center of life after dark in the Times Square

Pg. 60  METROPOLITAN...After a New York club, long popularly called "The

Pg. 61  MONAHAN SPECIAL...Called after Mike Monahan, one of the Waldorf
bar-keepers, its inventor.

Pg. 62  NETHERLAND...Possibly invented at the Hotel Netherland, a
contemporary of the Old Waldorf.

Pg. 62  NEWMAN...Patronymic of a man who for a time ran the old Haymarket, a
widely famed Tenderloin resort.

Pp. 62-63  NORMANDIE...The name of a hotel in Broadway's early spotlight
district, patronized by sportsmen and sports.

Pg. 63  NUTTING...Its namesake was Col. Andrew J. Nutting, of Brooklyn, an
ardent patron of the Bar for many years.

Pp. 63-64  OLD-FASHIONED WHISKEY...This was brought to the Old
Waldorf in the
days of its "sit-down" Bar, and was introduced by, or in honor of,
Col. James
E. Pepper, of Kentucky, proprietor of a celebrated whiskey of the
period.  It
was said to have been the invention of a bartender at the famous Pendennis
Club in Louisville, of which Col. Pepper was a member.

Pp. 71-72  SOUL KISS...After a musical comedy of that name, which,
because of
its appellation, stirred up a good many ideas among the young--and
middle-aged--about the latter part of the first decade of the century.

Pp. 73-74  THOMPSON...After Denman Thompson, the actor, who made "The Old
Homestead" famous, and upon whom that play had equally beneficent results.

Pp. 77-78  WOXUM...Some think it is aboriginally American, and ascribe it to
a "bunch of Indians," so-called, who occasionally made whoopee--or,
as it was
said at that time, "raised hell"--in the Old Waldorf Bar when they could get
away with it.

Pg. 78  YALE...An institution somewhere beyond Old Greenwich, where many
young men go for the purpose of commuting to New York for
week-ends.  The Old
Bar used to be one of their "ports of call" and there they used to find many
who in years past had gone to the same place and done the same things.

Pg. 78  1915...Named in honor of a New Year.  Some believe this was the last
cocktail invented in the Old Waldorf Bar.

Pg. 86  HIGH-BALLS...Just as is the case with "cocktail," the origin and
application of "high-ball" as a name for a stimulant is open to discussion.
Some have asserted that the name was taken from the National Game, possibly
because of the effect upon the "batting average" of one who "hits" enough in
rapid succession.  However the lexicographer digs further.
     In slang, a drink is often described as a "shot"; in Pall-Mall English
it's a "spot."  High-ball, more or less pure American for what a Britisher
calls a Whiskey-and-Soda, say the learned, is combined form "high," meaning
tall, and descriptive of the container, and "ball," which used to be the
equivalent of "shot," both metallically and absorbatively.  Therefore the
classical definition, "a 'long' drink consisting of whiskey, to which is
added soda-water, mineral water or some other effervescent, served in a tall
glass with broken ice."

Pg. 94  PEGGY O'NEILL...After an opera or play of that name, it is believed.
The original Peggy O'Neill was the daughter of a Washington tavern-keeper,
and noted for her beauty and wit.

Pg. 97  RICKEYS...The Rickey owes its name to Colonel "Joe" Rickey,
though an
interested public has long persisted in referring to him as "Colonel Jim"
Rickey.  Colonel Rickey had been a lobbyist in Washington, and as such used
to buy drinks for members of COngress in the glamorous days before they had
come to depend upon the discreet activities of gentlemen in green hats to
keep them wet while they voted dry.  The drink was invented and
named for him
at Shoemaker's, famous in Washington as a Congressional hangout.

Pg. 100  BRUNSWICK...Invented at the Old Hotel Brunswick, once a resort for
Fashion, and situated on the north side of Madison Square.

Pp. 104-105  BRADLEY MARTIN...After the husband of a famous society leader
who gave a much publicized ball in the room adjoining the Old Waldorf Bar,
while the latter was still building.

Pg. 107  FIN DE SIECLE...Name dates it back to 1899 or 1900, when the term
was much used, but much mispronounced.

Pp. 108-109  JOHN COLLINS...One of two members of the Collins family famous
in bars in the old days.  The difference between the two was that
Tom Collins
was made with Old Tom Gin--or supposedly--while a John Collins was made with
Holland Gin.

Pg. 116  WIDOW'S KISS...Just why the author of this drink should ascribe so
many tastes to the osculation of some gentleman's relics, or who was the
widow whose kiss was thus commemorated, it has been impossible to establish.
One could only suggest that someone with an inquiring mind might catch a
widow and experiment with direct labial contact.

Pg. 126  CUBAN CONCOCTIONS...From Will P. Taylor, manager of the Hotel
National, in Havana, who stuck at his post all through the recent local
disturbances, which included a bombardment of his hotel, I have obtained the
choicest Cuban Rum recipes.  Out of compliment to Mr. Taylor, who was last
resident manager of the Old Waldorf-Astoria, is placed at the head of this
list the distinctive cocktail which at his hotel is also called a Daiquiri,
or a Bacardi.

Pg. 128  BOWMAN BACARDI...Named after the late John McEntee Bowman, American
hotel man, who was the first to introduce modern American hotel-keeping into
Havana and who, making the acquaintance of Bacardi on its native heath,
probably did more to popularize it among Americans than any other
one person.

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