BourbonBlog.com is aboard the Creole Queen in New Orleans at Tales of the Cocktail 2012 with Four Roses Bourbon!
Interviews David Wondrich and Colin Asare-Appiah at very special Spirited Dinner in the video segment above.
This Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Dinner is an homage to Tom Bullock, the first African American to write a cocktail book. Cocktail historian Dave Wondrich provides a toast for the evening and top bar chefs Jim Meehan, Colin Asare-Appiah, Tal Nadari, and Dan Priseman.
Tom Bullock 1871-1964
Tom Bullock was the first African-American to write a cocktail book — written in 1917 — entitled The Ideal Bartender. Bullock, who was born in Louisville, Kentucky shortly after the Civil War ended, began working at country clubs at a very young age starting from the entry-level positions.
Later he became to be a well-recognized bartender of the time at St. Louis Country Club, where he served for government officials and other elite members.
George Herbert Walker, grandfather of George W. Bush, was one of the big fans of Bullock’s cocktails, who contributed his writing to Bullock’s book in introduction.
The Ideal Bartender includes a feast of pre-Prohibition cocktail recipes, many of which we would not have today if it hadn’t been for Bullock’s book. After publishing his book, Prohibition made his profession illegal, yet the bartending culture was stronger than ever.
Bullock moved frequently and changed professions during the dry period, but kept bartending at St. Louis Country Club where people could still drink. Bullock died in 1964.
Film shot and edited by Hancock Walker
All photos of Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Dinner by Hancock Walker in this story
Special thanks Four Roses Bourbon and Tales of the Cocktail