American alcoholic originalism (again)

28 Jul

Your Britisher may scorn ice in his whisky-sodas, your Indian Colonial may insist on cellar-warm ale, your Frenchman may know all his wines by their maiden names—but remember that the American has invented, and always will invent, more of the world’s good mixed drinks than all the rest of humanity lumped together . . . Just read the pages of history. There they are: juleps, cocktails, cobblers, fizzes, daisys, sours, rickeys, coolers—these and more all originated in America, reached their highest technique here in America . . . Whether the rest of the world cares to admit it or not, we started these drinks in circulation, just as we started the telephone, submarine, phonograph, incandescent light, electric refrigerator, and decent bath tubs. Oddly enough, outside the continental boundaries of the States the best drink mixers are American-trained Chinos, Cubans, Filipinos, Japanese, Swiss, and officers in His Britannic Majesty’s army and navy!—not native English, French, or Italian citizens of their own soil.

— Charles H. Baker, Jr., The Gentleman’s Companion, vol. 2: Around the World with Jigger, Beaker, and Glass (New York: Crown, 1946 [1939]), pp. 5-6.

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