“Livy my darling, I want you to be sure and remember to have, in the bathroom when I arrive, a bottle of Scotch Whiskey, a lemon, some crushed sugar, and a bottle of Angostura bitters. Ever since I have been in London I have taken in a wine glass what is called a cock-tail (made with those ingredients) before breakfast, before dinner, and just before going to bed.” – Mark Twain, 1884
The Mark Twain House & Museum and Max Restaurant Group are delighted to welcome Gilded Age Cocktails author Dr. Cecelia Tichi in conversation with MRG’s Beverage Director Brian Mitchell. Who knows, we may whip up a few cocktails during this virtual discussion that will leave you both shaken and stirred!
The decades following the American Civil War burst with invention―they saw the dawn of the telephone, the motor car, electric lights, the airplane―but no innovation was more welcome than the beverage heralded as the “cocktail.” The Gilded Age, aptly named by Mark Twain, was the Golden Age of Cocktails, giving birth to the classic Manhattan and martini that can be ordered at any bar to this day. Scores of whiskey drinks, cooled with ice chips or cubes that chimed against the glass, proved doubly pleasing when mixed, shaken, or stirred with special flavorings, juices, and fruits. The dazzling new drinks flourished coast to coast at sporting events, luncheons, and balls, on ocean liners and yachts, in barrooms, summer resorts, hotels, railroad train club cars, and private homes. From New York to San Francisco, celebrity bartenders rose to fame, inventing drinks for exclusive universities and exotic locales.
Cecelia Tichi offers a tour of the cocktail hours of the Gilded Age, in which industry, innovation, and progress all take a break to enjoy the signature beverage of the age. Gilded Age Cocktails reveals the fascinating history behind each drink as well as bartenders’ formerly secret recipes. Though the Gilded Age cocktail went “underground” during the Prohibition era, it launched the first of many generations whose palates thrilled to a panoply of artistically mixed drinks.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cecelia Tichi is an American academic and author. She is the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English and American Studies at Vanderbilt University, the former president of the American Studies Association, and the winner of the Jay B. Hubbell Medal for lifetime achievement in American literature. Tichi has authored five mystery novels and several fiction and non-fiction books based on American popular culture and social history.
ABOUT THE MODERATOR
A 25-year drinks industry expert, Brian Mitchell has worked on just about every side of the beverage business, specializing in wine and spirits education, staff training, creative consulting, and of course service. A Certified Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers, Brian also holds a level 4 Diploma from WSET and CSW credentials, and is the Corporate Beverage Director MAX Restaurant Group in Hartford, Connecticut.
Programs at The Mark Twain House & Museum are made possible in part by support from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts, and the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s United Arts Campaign and its Travelers Arts Impact Grant program, with major support from The Travelers Foundation. For more information call 860-247-0998 or visit marktwainhouse.org.