The Founders of Classic Cocktails – Course 2 Lesson 06

In my mind, classic cocktails are defined as any cocktails invented 50+ years ago but is still being ordered today. A modern classic cocktail is 20+ years old and still being ordered today.

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To understand classic cocktails is to understand cocktail creation. Those cocktail recipes that have lasted fifty years or more must have something special about them. What keeps people ordering them? The magic behind the creators and those that documented and spread the word (and knowledge) of the recipe!

In this video we cover a few classic cocktail personalities that changed the history of cocktails.

Jerry Thomas / 1830 – 1885
Harry Craddock / 1876 – 1963
Harry Johnson
David Embury / 1886 – 1960
Donn Beach / 1907 – 1989
Victor “Trader Vic” Bergeron / 1902 – 1984
Gary “Gaz” Regan / Present Day
Dale “King Cocktail” Degroff / 1948 – Present

The historic personalities of the past have helped instill knowledge in our current generation of bartenders and classic cocktails. David Wonderich is one of those memorable personalities that has helped document and spread the truth behind cocktails. David is also responsible for uncovering some of the missing history on famous cocktails like the Harvey Wallbanger. He helps bartenders and historians understand how some cocktails were born and their significance in our culture.

From the Tiki / Rum / Island perspective, we have folks like Jeff “Beachbum” Berry digging through archives and bartenders notes. Jeff Berry is responsible for uncovering many of the secrets to Donn Beach and Trader Vic’s success. Jeff Berry is building historically accurate accounts of the Zombie cocktail and other tiki drinks lost to history. Plus, Jeff Berry shook our hand after dinner at his restaurant Latitude 29 in New Orleans–any restaurant owner that stands at the exit to say goodbye to guests is okay in our book!

Ada mentored Harry Craddock in creating the Hanky Panky cocktail. Harry MacElhone was part of the conception of the French 75, Monkey Gland and Bloody Mary. Hugo Ensslin published a 1917 book Recipes for Mixed Drinks (available here), the last book published before prohibition. Hugo’s recipe book included that of the Aviation, a very memorable cocktail recipe.
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ABOUT Common Man Cocktails (CMC)

Common Man Cocktails, inspired by Derrick Schommer’s intimidation when opening a cocktail book, is designed to show viewers how to create some of the most common cocktails to advanced crazy cocktails and to look back at the classics of yesterday. Derrick has learned as he goes and has been actively creating five recipes a week on the channel for over six years, lots of content to keep you entertained for hours!

CMC will teach you how to make some great cocktail designs, give you ideas for new cocktails and introduce you to the latest spirits, liqueurs, syrups, barware and bitters. If you’re looking to become a cocktail enthusiast or need new ideas for your bartending trade, CMC is a great place to start.

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