For his second book, he widened his scope and lengthened the text, though he had less time to complete it. For some states, he had six to 10 options for cocktails. He had to cross-reference and whittle them down.
“It was hard, because I could only put so much content in for a place like New Orleans,” he said. “New York, as the cocktail mecca of our country with its vast history and original drinks and bartenders and spaces, it lends itself to be the top of the mountain … it was difficult.”
Bartels rarely encountered the darker side of cocktail culture, but he did notice it now and then.
“All these books I was reading about the history showcased male dominated environments,” Bartels said. “Taverns were for men, and home was for the women and the children.”
In a headnote for a cocktail by Black bartender Joseph Stinchcomb in Oxford, Mississippi, Bartels noted the racism Stinchcomb still dealt with there. He printed Stinchcomb’s cocktail, a riff on a Mai Tai called Blood on the Leaves, drawn from a special list from 2018 that honored African Americans. (The bar got so many protest calls, it pulled the list after 11 days.)
Memoir of a cocktail boom
In some states, Prohibition and dry counties pumped the breaks on cocktail culture. “Hotel bars saved me” in Kansas, Bartels said. Bartenders in Houston and San Antonio, Salt Lake City and Denver gave an assist with knowledge and recipes.
Credit: Source link