Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Lost & Found: The Seelbach Cocktail

Every hotel, bar, or restaurant used to have a signature drink. In fact, for a few hundred years from the peak of punch through the heyday of plain and fancy drinks in the mid 19th century, all alcoholic beverages were named after either their ingredients or the establishment that created them. Some famous examples include the Manhattan, Brooklyn, Clover Club, Pegu Club, and Sazerac. One of the many sad consequences of U.S. Prohibition was that any business relying on selling alcohol had to be shut down, and often with it went an interesting history and a signature drink.

The Seelbach Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, is a great example. Built in 1905 by the Seelbach brothers, this hotel was an attempt to recreate the beauty and decadence of western Europe. Located within was The Rathskeller, a 400-seat capacity nightspot whose menu claimed that “every essential, artistic detail is a reproduction of the underground drinking and council hall of one of the famous castles on the Rhine.” Most impressively, this was one of the very first air-conditioned rooms ever built, requiring forty tons of steam-produced refrigeration every twenty-four hours to maintain at least a ten degree cooler temperature than the hot Kentucky air outside.

Theatre-goers and socialites spent evenings here, likely enjoying the signature cocktail, The Seelbach – a light, spicy mixture of bourbon, Cointreau, Champagne, and a hefty dose of both Angostura and Peychaud’s bitters. Though unconfirmed (as most of these stories are), the tale of its inception involves a bartender opening a foaming bottle of Champagne and grabbing a nearby customer’s Manhattan to catch the spill. This patron enjoyed the combination and a new drink was born.

Most famously, the Seelbach Hotel was frequented by F. Scott Fitzgerald, who at the time was writing “The Great Gatsby,” and supposedly based some of the novel on his experience there. The female lead, Daisy Buchanan, was from Louisville, so perhaps he found inspiration in a particular guest? Perhaps for Gatsby as well?

Once the 18th Amendment was passed, the bars inside were closed and The Rathskeller became simply an extended dining room. Part of this space was even leased to Walgreen Drugs. The Seelbach Cocktail, now illegal, was forgotten.

In the 1930’s a new bar was opened that offered its own theatre and musical entertainment, and though many ownership and design changes have occurred over the last eighty years, the Seelbach still stands and parts of the original Rathskeller designs still remain. The story goes that in 1995 when ownership was undergoing another renovation of the hotel, a manager discovered (I like to think it was physically found in the basement) a recipe for the Seelbach Cocktail and again made it the house drink, though the specifics were guarded. Thanks to Gary Regan, who convinced the Seelbach Hotel to allow the recipe to be published in his “New Classic Cocktails” book, we can all share in the drink’s history and unique flavour.

At Pourhouse, we’ve altered the recipe slightly to suit our tastes, so come try our version and tip your glass to Fitzgerald, Gatsby, forgotten cocktails, and air conditioning.

[originally published on pourhousevancouver.com/blog]

10 comments:

  1. At that point, you don't need to go all over as a result of Aditi Gupta. Moreover, our Manali independent escorts are prepared for you for whenever to make your existence loaded with the new assistant. Furthermore, you can have perfect things and on the off chance that you are getting puzzled and attempt to be refresh.


    Call Girl in Manali
    Call Girls in Manali
    Manali Escort
    Manali Escorts

    ReplyDelete
  2. This post have very insightful information for everyone, i really impressed with this kind of information. thanks to author. Hi friends, If you are looking for escort services in Dehradun, make bookings via a reputed escort agency like Dehradun Angel. The reputed agency has an excellent collection of escorts that are young, sexy and bold. The Dehradun call girls are multi-lingual and educated also, so you can expect some sensible talks with them. Either take them to a public even or avail incall escort services, they offer value for money deal.
    Dehradun Escorts
    Nainital Escorts

    ReplyDelete
  3. Find Hyderabad Call Girls Escort Service Independent Call Girls in Hyderabad. The largest call girls ads selection in Hyderabad. Browse in our call girl category for finding a Sex Meetiing in Hyderabad. Call girl number whatsapp in Hyderabad
    https://baladatristedetrompeta.blogspot.com/2010/02/nlsnssnlnlj.html?showComment=1614153097033#
    Call Girls in Hyderabad
    Call Girl in Chandigarh

    Call Girl in Chandigarh
    Call Girls in Hyderabad

    ReplyDelete
  4. Our Escorts in Delhi Agency have arranged the profiles of sexy girls who are available 24/7. Below are some of our best collections of girls who can be your comrade. So why don't you take a look and find out the best match for your one night stand. Just try our premium service and feel the electric pleasure.

    ReplyDelete