1878 and all that
Cocktails history is an occasional interest of mine. Stimulated by a discussion today with drinks historian David Wondrich on Twitter, I’ve looked into the year the Manhattan and Martinez cocktails first appear in print. Many consider the Martinez the ancestor of the Martini, or in effect the same thing, but it has a connection to the Manhattan too.
In terms of when a proper written recipe first appeared, sources on these cocktails seem to accord on 1884 via the book The Modern Bartenders’ Guide, or Fancy Drinks and how to mix Them by O.H. Byron, published that year by Excelsior Publishing House in New York. See e.g. this original edition, and page 21 where Byron states in lapidary fashion that the Martinez recipe is the same as his (two) detailed recipes for the Manhattan, but with gin used for the whiskey.
According to my searches, see e.g., the Catalogue Record in HathiTrust for this title, Croly/Jennie June’s American Cookery Book was first published in 1866. It appeared in numerous later editions or reprintings, including in 1878 (new edition, see preface). She published a number books dealing with female and “domestic” issues, and founded an influential womens’ club. She is remembered enough to merit the Wikipedia biography entry linked above.
Excelsior was her publisher, hence its ad in the closing pages for the (uncredited) The Modern Bartenders Guide. This Guide seems essentially the 1884 one as the drinks list in the Contents page is almost the same. “Manhattan Cocktail” duly appears in versions No. 1 and No. 2 and their actual recipes must have been the same as for the 1884 edition, ditto for the way to make the “Martinez Cocktail”.
For the Manhattan, the modern Difford’s Guide states that the first written recipe appears in O. H. Byron’s book published in 1884 and that a reference to the drink appears earlier in print, in September, 1882 in the Daily Morning Herald of Olean, NY. The latter mentions the key ingredients of a Manhattan but is not a recipe as such.
(There is other evidence suggesting an earlier origin for the drink but nothing in print to confirm it before 1882 as far as I know).
Yet, the Manhattan, in two versions, and Martinez, sans recipes but surely the same as in the 1884 book, appear ostensibly in 1878 in an ad in Jennie June’s cookery book published that year. No ad for The Modern Bartenders Guide appears in the original, 1866 edition of Jennie June’s book, or what appear to be reprintings in 1870 and 1874.
I’m wondering now if Jennie Jerome Churchill, Winston Churchill’s mother and associated in lore with the creation of the Manhattan at the Manhattan Club around 1880, has been confounded with the Jennie of the cookbook mentioned. Or is that just a coincidence?
If I’ve gone wrong, happy to be put straight, but so far I don’t see where.