Patrick Gavin Duffy’s Official Mixer’s Guide

by Gaz Regan · Sunday, December 18th, 2016 · gaz regan's library

I have a collection of different editions of this book that stretch from 1934 to 1958.  Here’s a pictures of my earliest copy, and a few quotes and observances:

Duffy Official Mixers Manual 1940 copy

One of the first new bartending guides to hit the shelves after Repeal was Patrick Gavin Duffy’s The Official Mixing Guide (1934), and Duffy’s recipe for “Martini Cocktail (dry)” called for two parts gin, one part French (dry) vermouth, and one dash of orange bitters.

Patrick Gavin Duffy, head bartender at New York’s Ashland House for 12 years prior to Prohibition, and the man who claimed to have “first brought the highball to America, in 1895,” wrote, “With very few exceptions, cocktails should be stirred and not shaken.”

One of the first new bartending guides to hit the shelves after Repeal was Patrick Gavin Duffy’s The Official Mixing Guide (1934), and Duffy’s recipe for “Martini Cocktail (dry)” called for two parts gin, one part French (dry) vermouth, and one dash of orange bitters.

New York bartender Patrick Gavin Duffy introduced the Monkey Gland to America in a 1934 book, The Official Mixer’s Manual., Duffy inexplicably chose Bénédictine, a honeyed herbal liqueur said to have been developed in 1510 by the Bénédictine monk Dom Bernardo Vincelli, to use as an accent in the drink instead of absinthe. As a result, two versions of the cocktail, both with merit but very different from each other, are recognized as being authentic. Thus the English Monkey Gland takes an absinthe substitute, and the American version calls for Bénédictine.

There are two legitimate Monkey Gland Cocktails, one of which takes absinthe as an accent and was detailed in Harry Craddock’s Savoy Cocktail Book, 1930.  The other, which calls for Benedictine instead of absinthe, is found in Patrick Gavin Duffy’s Official Mixer’s Guide, 1934.  Craddock, based in London, had access to absinthe, but Duffy changed the recipe to make it easier on American bartenders since absinthe was banned at the time in the U.S.A.  Both versions are well worth trying.

Apart from the fact that Duffy categorized his recipes by the base liquor, whereas Craddock used the alphabetical approach, there are many instances that point to Duffy using Craddock’s work, at least as a guide, but the one major difference lies in the use of absinthe which was, and still is, legal in England, but had been outlawed in the U.S.A. prior to prohibition.  Duffy simply substituted Benedictine in drinks such as The Monkey Gland Cocktail, and since that time various books have detailed one or the other recipe, depending on which book has been used for reference.

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