1948 The Bon Vivant's Companion by George A Zabriskie (2nd edition)


A FRENCHMAN, Dr.lardieu, declares that in the course of certain scientific investigations he discovered that cock tails, generally considered of American origin, are really the ancient French coquetele, popular for several centuries in re gions ofBordeaux. Dr.lardieu will be expected byAmericans to produce evidence profoundly convincing. No mere ipse dixit will suffice. It is notthe first time thatforeigners have im pugned the American beginnings of the cocktail. Robert Keable declared that the mixings were invented by the court physician of the festive Roman Emperor Commodus. None will deny that Commodus would have drunk cocktails if he had 'em, but Mr. Keable's statement is not supported byGib bon orany other dignified authority. The most persistent American tradition regarding the cock tail fixes its birth in 1779 Betsy Flanagan's Inn on the road between Tarrytown and White Plains, where American sol diers with gin, and French soldiers with vermouth, blended these beverages intoken ofbrotherhood, stirring the resultant mess with the tail feathers of Mrs. Flanagan's rooster. Yet it may be that all this happened inPeggy Van Eyck's Cock's Tail Tavern inYonkers, as another story runs. Thegrave antiquar ian, Isaac Markens, preferred to believe that the decoction first sawlight as early as 1652 in the Tavern of Peter Cock, which stood where No. i Broadway is now. [xi]

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