The Tale of a Few Tipples: Recipes for New Orleans’ Classics

Part of our staff is away this week at a conference in New Orleans (your loyal blogger archivistkira included); others are holding down the fort in Blacksburg. Those of us traveling will be looking for ways to keep cool while learning from colleagues, sharing information, and enjoying some great food–perhaps with a tipple or two. Quite a few classic cocktails were invented and/or popularized in New Orleans, including the Sazerac, the Ramos Gin Fizz,  and the Absinthe Frappe, as well as the more contemporary Hurricane and Zombie. So, if you feel like getting into the spirit (ha-ha) of things along with us, here are a few recipes from a new acquisition to our History of the American Cocktail Collection, Albert S. Crockett’s The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book from 1934.

(The full title of this book, by the way? The old Waldorf-Astoria bar book : with amendments due to repeal of the XVVIIIth : giving the correct recipes for five hundred cocktails and mixed drinks known and served at the world’s most famous brass rail before prohibition, together with more than one hundred established formulas for cocktails and other beverages, originated while prohibition was in effect : the whole flavored with dashes of history mixed in a shaker of anecdote and served with a chaser of illuminative information.)

Special Collections also includes a previous, first edition of this book from 1931, titled, Old Waldorf bar days; with the cognomina and composition of four hundred and ninety-one appealing appetizers and salutary potations long known, admired and served at the famous big brass rail; also, a glossary for the use of antiquarians and students of American mores. Crockett certainly had a way with titles! Despite the repeal of Prohibition between editions,  you  may notice the 1934 volume includes only nine more drinks. Apparently people were too busy catching up on missed cocktails to develop a few more just yet. Or perhaps Crockett was looking for an even number the second time around…

Whatever your favorite cooling drink on a hot day, from Virginia Tech Special Collections staff in Blacksburg, New Orleans, and everywhere in between this week, cheers!

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