The First Cocktail Millennium Decade in Review


Well, the beginning of a new decade is right around the corner and it’s always interesting for me to look back at the previous one. It never ceases to amaze me how every decade I’m involved in and/or study seems to have the same cocktail culture thread running through it; I believe it’s shaped by a combination of new products, media, trends, marketing ideas and passionate – about their craft – beings.

Last century, common names for pubs, bars, saloons and clubs were Filthy McNasty’s, Slug And Lettuce, Snooty Fox, Fox and Hound, Fuzz & Firkin, The Ritz, Whiskey A Go-Go, Stork Club, Club Gallant, Le Freak, Studio 54, The Tiki Lounge, Electric Cowboy, The Rainbow Room, Cabaret, VooDoo Lounge, and The Limelight.

So far in this century, common names have been Tangerine, The Opium Den, The Blue Martini, Ghost Bar, The Town Pump, Coyote Ugly, Buddha Lounge, Whiskey Park, Sky Bar, The Well, Beauty Bar, Fifty-Seven Fifty-Seven, Narcissus, Balance, Tantra, Honey, Envy, Liquid, Tonic, Cream, Light, Rain, Room, Thin, Here, Meet, The Violet Hour, Milk & Honey, The Velvet Room, Teardrop Lounge, and The Tar Pit.

Very interesting. You can read the common names for pubs, bars, saloons and clubs starting from the 1400s on my site  here.

Each passing year has brought new events, products, spirits, and trends. Here’s a skeleton look at a few of them from the first cocktail millennium decade. And if you see any misinformation or anything you’d like me to add,  just let me know at


• The film Coyote Ugly shows scantily clad cowgirl bartenders slinging whiskey and dancing on the bar top.
• The Beekman Arms of Rhinebeck in NY is the oldest continuously operating tavern in America.
• Alizé Red Passion is introduced.
• Wild Turkey Russell’s Reserve is introduced to America only.
• Smirnoff twist flavored vodkas are introduced.
• Tequiza Extra hits the shelves.
•  Baffert’s gin is introduced.
• Doc Otis Hard Lemon hits the market.


• Fidel Castro and the Cuban government shocks the world when they announce that they will begin to produce their own rum and name it Bacardi, saying, the famous rum is his and better than theirs. As of 2009, no rum has been produced from Castro.
• Michelob Ultra is introduced.
• Gary Regan introduces his Cocktails in the Country Bartender Workshops.
• Hpnotiq plans to launch on September 11th, but America is attacked on that day so the launch takes place months later.
• James Zemaitis, the Vice President of Sotheby’s, organizes the first show and sale of cocktail shakers & barware for Phillips Auction in NYC and coins the words, Cocktail Modernism for the thirty-featured items.


• James Bond orders a Mojito in the film, Die Another Day, and revives this classic cocktail exploding it worldwide.
• Wet by Beefeater is marketed.
• Smirnoff Black Ice is launched.
• Hiram Walker introduces the first liqueur with 100% natural ingredients called Fruja.
•  Matusalem Rum is re-launched.
• Tales of the Cocktail begins as an annual event in New Orleans.

The Thirsty Traveler, a weekly TV show journey into the heart of the world’s greatest wine, beer and spirit producing regions is hosted by Kevin Brauch and aired on Fine Living TV.


• Absolut Vanila hits the market with a frosted bottle.

• The Bordeaux Ecole de Management offers a masters wine program.
• New York, Florida, Maine, Connecticut, Alabama, and Oklahoma pass smoking bans for bars.
• Blavod black vodka from America is marketed.
• Heaven Hill buys Hpnotiq.
• Archaeologists find five earthenware jars of 2,000 BC year old rice wine in an ancient Han dynasty tomb in Eastern China. The bouquet is still intact.


• The top ten best selling beers in America are; Bud light, Bud, Miller Lite, Coors Light, Natural Light, Corona, Busch, Busch Light, Miller High Life, and Heineken.
• The top ten best selling spirits in America are; Smirnoff, Bacardi, Absolut, Jack Daniel’s, Jose Cuervo, Captain Morgan, Hennessy, Johnnie Walker, and Jim Beam.
• The American Beverage Institute introduces the public service message; Drink Responsibly. Drive Responsibly.
• Absolut Raspberri is introduced.
• Iceberg vodka made from the water of melted icebergs is introduced.
• DNA alcohol evidence is found in Peruvian mummy hair.
•  Perrier launches the portable plastic bottle.
• Archeologists find 7000 BC winemaking pottery in Northern China.
• The hit film, Sideways, skyrockets the sales of Pinot Noir.


• The Museum of the American Cocktail opens in New Orleans, founded by Dale and Jill DeGroff, Anistatia Miller, Jared Brown, Robert Hess, Ted Haigh, Chris & Laura McMillian, and Phil Greene.
• The FBA Pro Tour of International Flair Bartending competitions is created.

•  Gary Regan introduces Regan’s Orange Bitters.
• There are 565,000 licensed alcohol beverage outlets in America. 316,000 are licensed for on-premise sales.
• NAVAN, a vanilla flavored cognac from Grand Marnier is launched.
The Stanislav Vadrnas School of Bartending and Mixology tours the world.
• Captain Morgan Tattoo is introduced.
• The first scholarly journal of the cocktail, Mixologist: The Journal of the American Cocktail, is published by Anistatia Miller and Jared Brown.
•  All American states adopt a BAC level of 0.08.
•  Absolut Apeach is introduced.
• Anistatia Miller and Jared Brown launch their own formulation, Heavy Water Vodka.
• Goya, The largest cocktail bar in the world opens in Berlin.
• Molson merges with Coors.
• Bailey’s Caramel is launched.
• Bailey’s Chocolate Mint is launched.


• The Tequila Trade Agreement is signed by the United States and Mexico allowing the continued bulk import of Tequila into the United States.
• South Carolina’s bartenders no longer have to use miniature liquor bottles.
• Beverage Alcohol Resource (BAR), the very first culinary mixology course for the appreciation, understanding, and service of adult beverages opens in New York City.

• Oprah Winfrey makes a Pomegranate Martini on her show and bartenders across America get bombarded with requests for the Martini even though most bars don’t carry pomegranate juice.
• The largest Champagne Pyramid is constructed in Amsterdam. 37, 820 glasses are used and it stands 60 stories high.
• A new category of Tequila is established. It’s an ultra-aged/vintage aged in oak barrels for 3 years. It’s called “maduro”.
• The Museum of the American Cocktail opens in Las Vegas, after Hurricane Katrina destroys most of New Orleans.
• CMT airs a reality show called Inside the Real Coyote Ugly. Ten girls are chosen out of one thousand to learn how to bartend Coyote Ugly style.
• On May 13th cocktail connoisseurs worldwide gather in many locations to celebrate the 200th year of the cocktail.
• Imbibe drink culture magazine is introduced.
• These spirits are released:
Boca Loca Cachaça, Lichido Liqueur, X-Rated Fusion Liqueur, Tezón Tequila, Aviation Gin, and Van Gogh Espresso Vodka.
Jay-Z endorsed then boycotted Cristal.


• Tobin Ellis is selected as the bartender to compete aganist Bobby Flay in his TV show, Throwdown! with Bobby Flay.
• Absolut Pears is introduced.
• St Germain Elderflower Liqueur is introduced.
• Lucid becomes the first absinthe allowed back into the U.S. after being banned for 95 years.
• Trump vodka is released.
• Pat O’Brien’s celebrates it 75th anniversary.
• These spirits are released: Absolut New Orleans, Appleton Estate Reserve Jamaican Rum, 360 Vodka, Tanqueray Rangpur Distilled Gin, and Grey Goose La Poire Vodka.



BarSmarts™, a one-of-a-kind online bartender education and certification program
sponsored by Pernod Ricard USA, is developed in collaboration with the world’s
most celebrated cocktail experts from BAR, LLC.
• The first Cocktail Film Fest takes place in New Orleans at the W.
• Canton French Ginger Liqueur is introduced.
The Stanislav Vadrna’s Analog Bar-tending Institute travels the world.
•  The Sazerac becomes the official cocktail of New Orleans through Bill No. 6.
• Mr. & Mrs. Cocktail (Paul and Ann Tuennerman) host a New Orleans radio show called The Straight Pour.
• P Diddy releases Ciroc vodka.



•  The Mai Tai becomes the official cocktail of Oakland.
• Justin Timberlake has a new Tequila called 9:01.

• The Ritz-Carlton launched a new “Bar Experience” globally that featured a Bar Edible menu with a fresh twist on solid and traditional cocktails.
• Tobin Ellis starts the monthly event,  Social Mixology – Late Night Cocktail Culture in Vegas.
• Absolut airs a bartender mixology TV show special called, On the Rocks.

adam• Adam Lambert’s first video shows absinthe.

gaga• Lady Gaga drinks vodka in her video, Bad Romance.

What will happen in the next decade?


1 Comment

Filed under Cocktails in Film & Other Media

One response to “The First Cocktail Millennium Decade in Review

  1. Writer324

    Very interesting. But you didn’t include any of the information on rappers that popularized drinks in the last decade — Diddy & his Ciroc vodka deal, Jay-Z first endorsing then boycotting Cristal and switching to Krug and Dom Perignon.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s