That’s right, at a time when a Black man could hardly walk into a “white” bar, I was the reigning king. I was not only allowed IN the bar, but people came to the bar FOR me – in order to sample my cocktails, shake my hand, and get me to sign my book for them. (Actually, I was the first Black American to publish a cocktail recipe book.)
In 1917, I published “The Ideal Bartender,” one of the most influential cocktail recipe books of all time.
I realized a few things behind the bar:
1. Superb cocktails inspire all types of people to congregate.
2. Being a true Tastemaker is about breaking down preconceived ideas, and bringing new flavors together.
3. The same is true for bringing people together.
In the 1910s, I was one of the world’s most influential bartenders, tending bar at the prestigious St. Louis Country Club, wowing fans - including presidents - with my signature cocktails. Some people even say that I “wrote the book” on cocktail recipes. (And that’s not far from the truth.)