I don’t watch much TV, but late night I like to listen/watch Letterman while working. Well, a Bacardi commercial got my ears then eyes attention tonight. The commercial shows a guy walking through a timeline of bar-rooms and ends up at a bar from 1862. The word Bacardi and the number 1862 is what they are wanting you to get out of the commercial. Well, as a cocktail geek, I instantly knew–like all other cocktail geeks know–that 1862 was the year the first known bartender book came out. Here’s the YouTube commercial below.
First, I want to say that I love love love that a spirit company has captured the public/masses/social consciousness’s attention with historical education to give perspective, but am confused why they would also give misinformation.
1. Women in bars. From what I know, women were not hanging out or even allowed in bars until the 1920s in America (unless they were working women if you know what I mean). So in a 1862 bar there wouldn’t be women. There is a 1938 Bette Davis film called Jezebel that is set in 1852 and there is talk about women not being in the bar. Now, at the house party women were allowed to socialize and drink.
2. Styles. The 1862 styles are a little off I believe. Women would not have worn sleeveless dresses.
3. Mojito. I haven’t looked at Jerry Thomas’ 1862 bartender book (it’s in storage) to see if it is in there, but I thought the Mojito wasn’t mentioned until around the 1930s from a Cuban bar associated with Sloppy Joe’s. And I think Hemingway is part of the story. But the Mojito also has another history of being first invented in in the 16th century and called El Draque. Point being that none of these dates are close to 1862. (And for the twenty-somethings…no, James Bond did not invent the Mojito in 2002 he only rivived it.)
4. Glassware. From what I understand the original Cuban Mojito was made in a short glass not tall. The commercial shows tall.
5. Bacardi. Okay, the Bacardi site says that Bacardi founder Don Facundo Bacardí Massó founded the company in 1862. Now we’re getting somewhere. I see where why commercial is using the year 1862. But, that does not mean that the Mojito was invented that same year. There is not any documented proof as of yet.
Here’s another Bacardi commercial tieing together the present with the past. I think these styles are probably closer to the real thing.
My New Book is out!
Well, it’s not the first bartender book ever published, but it’s my 9th published book and my first color book called, Knack Bartending Basics: More than 400 Classic and Contemporary Cocktails for any Occasion. It hit the shelves today. The best price I’ve found for you is on amazon.