The stars of the rebirth of the cocktail are legendary bartenders, like Jerry Thomas, Harry Johnson and Harry Craddock, who worked decades and decades ago. Their drink books are now back in print and their signature cocktails can be found on bar menus around the world.
But there are several important bartenders who made major mixological contributions that have been largely lost to history. This episode of Life Behind Bars is about Duncan Nicol, who ran San Francisco’s famed Bank Exchange until Prohibition and was known for his signature Pisco Punch, and Jim Gray, who was one of New York’s most famous bartenders in the late 1800s when he worked at the Fifth Avenue Hotel. Listen now to find out more about these two incredible barmen.
Life Behind Bars features Half Full’s editor Noah Rothbaum and Senior Drinks Columnist David Wondrich as they discuss the greatest bartenders and greatest cocktails of all time. It just won the Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Award for the world’s best drinks podcast. —Edited by Alex Skjong