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"Cocktail King" Dale DeGlov contributed to the creation of a modern cocktail culture

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When Dale DeGroff was asked to create a cocktail menu at the restaurant Aurora and the legendary Rainbow Room in New York City, incorporating recipes for old and forgotten classic drinks, he was an American drinker. I didn’t know that I was helping to revolutionize New York.

DeGroff worked at Joe Baum, who pioneered seasonal menus at The Four Seasons and ran Windows on the World. Baum asked De Groff to create a new kind of cocktail bar. One features Prohibition drinks with all fresh ingredients and no mix.

“He told me to get Jerry Thomas’s book,” DeGrom said while mixing cold drinks on the porch of a house shared with his wife Jill in Pocatac, Stonington’s village. rice field.

Thomas was a pioneering bartender in the mid-19th century, and his 1860s book Bar-Bid Guide It was an early influential drink recipe book. But it was out of print for decades. To find it, DeGroff had to look for a copy in a second-hand bookstore and then re-learn many of the forgotten techniques and materials described in the book.

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When the Rainbow Loom reopened in 1987 with De Groff’s pre-Prohibition cocktail menu, the space on the 65th floor of 30 Rock became a Camelot for cocktail lovers. With the resurgence of craft cocktails, it went to zero and eventually became suspenders. -Wearing a bartender who shakes and spins drinks with the skills of a chemist and the passion of a painter.

DeGroff’s menu has shaped a modern cocktail bar featuring New York drinks that were rarely heard at the time, such as pisco sour and mojito. DeGroff tracked a small martini glass used by the protagonist in a 1934 classic movie Slender man Re-introduced to the world of cocktails as Nick and Nora’s Martini Glass. His cosmo recipe became the definitive take of cocktails and helped the Associated Press photographers disseminate it after drinking and shooting Madonna in the Rainbow Loom in the 1990s.

In 2002, De Groff, then known as the King of Cocktails, Cocktail craft.. Latest edition, New craft of cocktails, Released in 2020. Since it was first published, this book has helped train the generation of bartenders.

In 2004, De Groff and his wife founded the Museum of the American Cocktail, a New Orleans-based non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the history of cocktails. Growing up partially across the borders of Westerly, Rhode Island, DeGlov moved to New York City to become an actor and dropped out of the University of Rhode Island’s theater program. “I was convinced I was walking on the Broadway board right away,” he says. It didn’t happen at all, but DeGroff was busy. “I walked many other boards behind a 3-foot mahogany.”

He pushed, worked in the advertising and restaurant industry to get his acting career on track. He first fell in love with the social side of a bar in New York City. “In New York, it takes 30 seconds to realize that everything is done in bars and restaurants,” he says. Many have had such small homes, so much of their social life and time with friends and family takes place at local bars. “The bars in these neighborhoods often keep people loyal to them for 30, 40, and 50 years — it’s like an extended family,” says De Groff.

This social aspect of bartender trading is what is most visible on his poker kathak pouch during his recent visit. He rebukes visitors with stories from a New York City bartender who doesn’t make drinks on the menu and an Associated Press reporter who drinks before and after. overseas trip. He offers a drink called Punch Royale, which features freshly ground nutmeg and cognac, and a martini-inspired drink featuring an old duff gener. Both drinks are great.

DeGroff is excited about the popularity of craft cocktails, loves to enjoy cocktails at nearby Mystic and try new drinks while traveling, tasting local specialties rather than ordering specific drinks. I like “I’m really like’when I’m in Rome,'” he says. “Now there are great craft bars in almost every city and town.”

DeGrov and his wife moved to Connecticut during a pandemic, who shared his knowledge and skills at book signing events and training for local bartenders.

The secret to a good cocktail is, of course, balance. It’s all important to skillfully combine the “sweet, sour and bitter, strong and weak” flavors.

But DeGroff’s advice on making drinks goes beyond ingredients and taste. Each drink he offers is infused with history and folklore — liquids serve as a kind of fuel for telling stories and fostering human connections. This is part of the equation that DeGroff says new bartenders should pay attention to. He advises you to make sure you are stepping behind the bar for the right reason. “It doesn’t mean you can be famous, so you can be this or it, but you’re a really sociable person,” he says. “You like to be in that environment, and you also have good observing power and like to make people feel good. You really need to have everything for you ,and after that You need to learn a profession. Those who don’t have such things can be technically great, great bartenders, but they always have an empty bar. “