The Strange But True Story of The Seelbach Cocktail, is it modern or classic?



A Classic Champagne Cocktail named after a storied century old lodging in downtown Louisville Kentucky? Or A Fake?

The Seelbach cocktail was created by a bartender named Adam Seger at the Seelbach Hilton Hotel in Louisville Kentucky around 1995. The Hotel itself was founded by Bavarian born brothers Louis and Otto Seelbach in 1905. The brothers envisioned a hotel built to embody the old world grandeur of hotels in Vienna and Paris. To do so they had it built in the French Renaissance style. Louis was already a restaurant owner in Louisville and his brother Otto joined him around 1890 to form the Seelbach Hotel Company. Once built, it was quickly regarded as one of the finest hotels in the nation.

Adam Seger took Possession of the drink program in 1995 and claimed that he had found a long lost recipe for a pre-prohibition cocktail called the Seelbach Cocktail which was the hotel bar’s signature drink. The media soon picked up on the story and reported on it and pretty soon the Seelbach was considered by those in the know as a classic cocktail rescued from obscurity. The story was repeated by Gary “Gaz” Reagan and Mardee Haidin in their 1997 book “New Classic Cocktails” and was subsequently written about by Ted Haigh in his 2009 book ” Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails.” After two decades of repeating the same story, Seger came clean to Reagan and cocktail writer Robert Simonson reported on it in his New York Times Column. For the full story click here:

Here’s links to the tools I use in this episode:
Barfly Copper Measuring Cup:
Japanese Bitters Dasher:
Peychaud’s Bitters:
Angostura Bitters:

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