Devin Hahn

Multimedia Storyteller, Writer, Cocktail Blogger

Month: March 2011

Periodista Tales: Ted Haigh—Birth of a Pseudonym

I took the L train east to Bushwick and walked out into the death throes of whatever grit lingered in that rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. Hipster hangouts were encroaching on the Boar’s Head meat factory like a Georgia kudzu. I rounded a corner and passed a specialty wine and spirits shop. I guess change isn’t all bad.

I was in the neighborhood to meet Ted Haigh. Haigh is the author of Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails, which was published in ’03 and came out in a second edition recently enough for it to win Best New Cocktail Book of the Year at the last Tales of the Cocktail. It’s a collection of drink recipes and stories about cocktails that hadn’t been tasted for decades—a handbook for the classic cocktail revival. If a craft cocktail joint has any books on its back bar, you can bet Haigh’s will be among them.

Haigh has lived in Los Angeles since 1990, but he was staying at an apartment in Brooklyn while he did graphic design work for the set of the HBO drama Boardwalk Empire. Haigh’s pseudonym is Dr. Cocktail, but cocktails aren’t how he makes his livelihood. They’re just what made him famous.

Haigh’s apartment is in a converted warehouse. Everything in Bushwick is in a converted warehouse. This one had a buzzer on the door. I pushed the number for Haigh’s place and the door clicked at me until I opened it.

When I arrived at Haigh’s third-floor doorstep, he greeted me with my favorite question.

“Can I make you a drink?” he asked. “I make a kind of pseudo-Manhattan with rye and Punt E Mes. How’s that sound?”

I told him it sounded fine.

Haigh has a modest ponytail, a salt-and-pepper mustache, and a belly consummate with the zeal of his interests. While he was putting the drinks together, I asked him where his fascination with cocktails came from.

“The first cocktail cognizance I had was before I ever had a drink,” he said, “not even close to when I had a drink. It was at the young tender age of fourteen that I got hold of Patrick Gavin Duffy’s Official Mixer’s Manual, which came out in 1934. I would look at the names of the cocktails, and they were just fascinating to me. I can recall to this day the three initial drinks that captured my imagination—and they speak very much to the fourteen-year-old mind: the Corpse Reviver No. 2, the Monkey Gland, and the Bosom Caresser.”

He turned to me, brandishing an Old Fashioned glass in each hand. His eyes were as big and wild as pool balls after a break. “The Bosom Caresser is a lousy drink,” he said, then laughed. Haigh laughs like a man who’s comfortable being the center of attention. If you’re in the same room as him and a good joke, you know where to find him.

“But I would think to myself, ‘What are these things?’” he continued. “These drinks that probably hadn’t been served in seventy years. See, all it had to be was old—it just had to be before my lifetime, and I was hooked.”

Haigh sat down with his pseudo-Manhattan and kept talking. I walked over to the floor-to-ceiling sash windows and glanced out at the warehouse across the street. Or maybe it was a mirror.

“Anyway,” Haigh said, “when I inevitably came of age and was able to taste the Corpse Reviver No. 2, it was a true eureka moment. I was able to really understand what chemists those bartenders were—even though we’re talking about a recipe of mostly equal parts—because I could taste each individual ingredient, and yet the whole was something else entirely. Something remarkable.”

It was a familiar story, but it was nice to hear someone else tell it. I asked him how he got to the point where he thought he could write a book on the subject.

“Well, I was starting to collect a lot of bottles,” Haigh said. “I loved the way the physical objects connected to the history. I was also doing research—taking notes and gaining these lines of correspondence. It wasn’t like I even knew what I wanted to do with the information yet—research for research’s sake, you know? Without the AOL gig I wouldn’t have necessarily had the audacity to assume that I could concatenate all of this knowledge and there-a-book-would-be.”

AOL. You don’t hear those three letters end-to-end too often these days. I asked him for the story.

“Oh, that,” he said, pausing and taking a dramatic sip from his glass, “that really created so much of what we now consider the cocktail resurgence.”

A big claim, but I was willing to hear him back it up.

“To begin with,” Haigh said, “in 1994, I believe, I was introduced to the Internet. At the time I had no idea what the Internet was. Almost none of us did. Now, granted, AOL was not really the Internet. AOL was entirely separate from the Internet. It was conducted sort of on the Internet, but it totally protected you from the wilderness of ones and zeros that was the true Internet back then.”

I remembered the days. Screen names. Keywords. Message boards. Funny how quickly new things can become relics.

“AOL was this gated community online,” Haigh said, “and within the gates they had many things—movie reviews, news articles—it was a whole town! So I thought to myself, ‘I wonder if they have anything on cocktails in here?’ Sure enough, there was a section called the Food & Drink Network, and if you burrowed down far enough you found a section on spirits. So I went in there, and like any young kid in a new town, I tended to keep my mouth shut.”

I had a hard time imagining Haigh keeping his mouth shut in any situation, but I kept that opinion to myself.

“But as I’m looking around,” he said, “I notice a lot of people have a lot of questions, but there aren’t too many answers. So, hesitantly, humbly, I start answering questions—and there seemed not be too many questions I couldn’t answer.”

Haigh’s expression is never too far from a grin. It made the short trip.

He continued, “Eventually somebody on the board says to me, ‘You need a better screen name. You should be, like, Dr. Cocktail or something.’ I said, ‘That’s a great idea.’ So, within two days of me being Dr. Cocktail, I’m contacted by Craig Goldwyn, the leader of the Food & Drink Network on AOL, who asks if I wouldn’t like to be the moderator of the Cocktails & Spirits section. Why they didn’t want me when I was still, I don’t know!”

Our glasses were empty and Haigh went to refill them. Outside, a semi announced it had shifted into reverse, but didn’t seem to be going anywhere. The droning beep played counterpoint to Haigh’s voice, which drifted in from the kitchen, a few feet away.

“I became the lifeguard for that section of the network,” he said. “And this is the realm where the core group manifested itself. And that included Gary Regan, who would later be instrumental in resurrecting orange bitters, author also of The Joy of Mixology. The great William Grimes, who was the food and drink critic for the New York Times, and would eventually write Straight Up Or on The Rocks.”

Haigh handed me a glass and I sat down opposite him on a short couch. I took a drink. If there was Punt E Mes mixed in with the rye, I couldn’t taste it.

“We were considered the authorities, back then,” Haigh said. “Of course, there was a lot of disagreement. Nothing is as clean and slick as we would like history to be. Even in that era some people cared most about the perfect way to make the drinks, some people cared about what trends were coming up next. Some of us cared about the historical resonance of them—I was in that camp, of course—but together we grew, we evolved as a result of this kind of DNA swap.”

I thought about how many virtual communities had formed within AOL’s walls during that period. Haigh’s story wasn’t just an early chapter in the story of the cocktail renaissance, it was also a snapshot of a moment in time. A time when communities of choice—communities based on mutual interest rather than geography—were just beginning to form. I drank silently to my memory of the moment.

“We were also dealing with a lot of shluff, of course,” Haigh said. “I mean, people asking how to make a Fuzzy Navel, people interested more in Appletinis than actual Martinis. But, by the same token, anyone who went away with, ‘I’m impressed by this,’ and who commented on it further, sent out these ripples. And the Internet was relatively small back then, you didn’t know how far any ripple would go. At the time, those ripples were more like tidal waves than we ever thought they would be. That was the start of things.”

1994 had been a landmark year for the burgeoning cocktail scene. It was the year Brother Cleve went on the road with Combustible Edison, and began to amass the fan base that would come to be known as the Cocktail Nation. Soon after, Joe McGuirk would put together the cocktail program that would eventually introduce me to the Periodista. And on AOL, the first online community of cocktail enthusiasts was born. Ripples upon ripples.

Haigh seemed to have finished his drink. I seemed to have finished mine, too, but Haigh didn’t notice. He was lost in the sway of his own story.

“Eventually I was forced off AOL,” he said, “because AOL was becoming the worst it would get before the merger with Time/Warner—but—it was largely because of the AOL experience that I felt comfortable with being considered an authority on this stuff. And I thought to myself, I have a book in this.”

He waggled his eyebrows at me. Not everyone can pull that off, but Haigh’s eyebrows are made for waggling. “It was actually a person who would later become rather famous,” he said, “who helped take me to the next level.”

I thought about asking who, but I was too busy trying to remember what round we were on. My glass was full again.

“That was a guy named John Hodgman,” Haigh said.

I knew the name. In case I didn’t, Haigh was prepared to fill me in.

“John Hodgman,” Haigh said, “played the resident expert on The Daily Show, and he played the PC on the Mac vs. PC ads. But before all that, Hodgman was a literary agent in New York, and a writer. Now, in the process of building up this presence on the Internet, I started getting well known among the journalists. I ended up being a source, either for quotes or simple fact-checking. And Hodgman originally contacted me as a source for a piece he was writing about—you guessed it—girly drinks. Then he contacted me for a piece he was doing on bitters.”

I stood up. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but I was starting to regret it. I found the wall and leaned on it.

“Finally,” Haigh continued, “Hodgman decides he wants to write a nice article for the New York Times Magazine about—me! He came out to Burbank, I had him over to the house, plied him with liquor and so forth. The interview took three days. And at some point I tell him, ‘I’m getting a book published,’ which he knew because, unbeknownst to me, he’s the one who had recommended me to the publishers! John Hodgman was the real impetus for getting me published, really published. The book had been percolating for about ten years before that, but Hodgman was instrumental, just instrumental.”

These were the stories I was out here for. The little bits of biography that intersected with coincidence to create moments that would have a real effect on history. There was a story like that out there for the Periodista. I knew it. At least I felt it. Maybe it was the rye talking—it was certainly the one doing the thinking.

I shook my head, just to remind myself it was there.

“When my book first did come out in 2003,” Haigh said, “I was afraid we were at the end of it. I was thinking, you know, as a nerd who mostly had contact with other nerds, where could this possibly go from here? Like, we’re going to affect the general public? Pfwah!”

Haigh stretched out his arms on his couch. He was a bit of a recluse, Ted Haigh, but here in his own space, with a glass of rye in his hand, he was king of the mountain.

“But, man, we were just at the very pinnacle of the roller coaster,” he said. “And within the year that my book came out, suddenly I was getting calls from Europe. I appear in London, there’s a line of bartenders wanting my autograph. They really adopted it! And I realized that my book, whether brilliant, or merely timely—was timely! Right then the zeitgeist was right where it needed to be. I said things that people believed.”

I certainly did.

I don’t know if it was my idea or Haigh’s, but suddenly we were walking down the stairs and out into the night. Half a block down we entered a series of doors and found ourselves in a dark, quiet bar. It was an off night. I got introduced to the bar manager, Keith Cochran, and the name of the establishment, The Narrows. Haigh ordered a bittered Bronx and I got something off the cocktail menu, a Last Word variation with Scotch and jalepeño tequila called “Word.” (Full stop.)

Haigh and I sipped our drinks and I tried to remember what day of the week it was. Sunday, I thought. Then Haigh was talking again.

“One thing is for sure,” he said. “What we know about the cocktail world that nobody ever voices out loud is how imperfect it is. People create something, they drink it, they get drunk, they forget. It could be that easy. A different bartender says, ‘That’s good, but I want to do it this way.’ Somebody publishes it. They publish a wrong ingredient. It goes into the pantheon with the wrong ingredient. It’s all so part of the human foible. So, in researching the Periodista, God knows I hope you never come to some final conclusion, because that’s inhuman.”

I don’t know how many rounds passed before I was on the streets of Brooklyn, trying to pry my MetroCard out of my wallet. I was only five blocks away from the subway station and I wanted to give myself enough time to prepare.

I thought about the AOL Spirits & Cocktails forum. I thought about Haigh’s book. He had always been about spreading the gospel. Getting knowledge to as many people as possible. At the end of the day, he was right, I might never come to a final conclusion about the origins of the Periodista. And if I did, then where would I be?

I knew one thing: I’d never give up the chase. But maybe I had something else to offer.

Before I walked down the stairs into the subway, I took out my phone and dialed Los Angeles. It was time to try a new approach.

Periodista Tales: The Joe Baum Papers

New York again. I had decided to try my hand at some academic-style research. Maybe Greg Boehm’s project had inspired me. Maybe meeting writers like Dave Wondrich, Jeff Berry, and Wayne Curtis—true scholars of the cocktail—had left a mark. Maybe I was one jigger shy of a full shaker. In any case, I had to acknowledge the possibility that not all my answers were hidden in the minds of heavy drinkers. Some might be in a library.

The floor of the uptown 6 train was slick with mud and snow melt. Next to me, a man in an electric orange ski jacket diddled an iPod three generations out of date. When the train stopped at Grand Central Terminal I got out feeling like a new dollar bill on its first day in circulation.

As I worked my way down 42nd Street I looked up. New York towered over me. It towers over everyone. The trick is not to knock over any old ladies while you’re craning your neck. I made the three blocks to the New York Public Library unscathed.

Signs directed me to the Manuscripts & Archives Division on the third floor. I walked through the McGraw Rotunda, past Ed Laning’s murals from the 1940s. I hear they’d considered Sargent and Whistler for the job, but a trustee had landed on Laning—I guess he was the budget version. To my right, Gutenberg showed off an early print edition and above me Prometheus brought knowledge to mankind. Lucky mankind.

The librarian who buzzed me in looked like he might have been a side tackle in college. He was nervous, he stuttered, and he liked eye contact about as much as a shiner, but somehow he managed to nail that befuddled charm so particular to the profession. I described my “project” and the librarian sent word down to the stacks for them to retrieve the boxes I wanted from the Joe Baum archive. I was looking for the original menu from Baum’s Latin restaurant, La Fonda Del Sol.

Joe Baum was the first president of Restaurant Associates, a company that operated many of New York’s classic restaurants, including The Four Seasons restaurant and Tavern on the Green. In his book The Craft of the Cocktail, Dale DeGroff—a protégé of Baum’s—claims that his boss “singlehandedly introduced tequila to New York at La Fonda Del Sol.” The restaurant opened in 1960 and supposedly featured a number of Cuban cocktails. It was Jackson Cannon who first suggested to me that the Periodista might have found a place on that menu.

Even if the Periodista was on the menu, seeing it wasn’t going to help me find the cocktail’s origin. On the other hand, it might provide a midpoint between the Periodista’s presence in the 1948 manual of the Club de Cantineros de Cuba and its appearance in Boston. Right now that was a void. Where had it gone? Why hadn’t the Periodista made it into the annals of cocktail history? Why wasn’t it in any of the great cocktail books (a fact that had perplexed so many historically-minded bartenders throughout Boston)?

As I waited, three librarians held counsel in hushed tones. Everything in there happened in hushed tones. The librarians threw an occasional glance in my direction, just to make sure I wasn’t making a sandwich on a first edition Robinson Crusoe. The other patrons eyed me suspiciously, most of them from behind horn-rimmed glasses. I felt like a first-timer in a bar full of regulars.

I sneezed. That didn’t help anything. The beefy librarian approached me.

“That was bound delivery,” he said, indicating some carts that had arrived behind the iron railing. “Do you want to just start with the first box?”

I did.

I was handed a narrow grey box. Inside I found a stack of folders, each containing photographs and menus from a different Joe Baum restaurant. There was the Four Seasons, the Newarker, the St. Regis. And La Fonda Del Sol in folder number four.

The menu was easy to find—it had a brightly-colored, ornate design. La Fonda Del Sol’s cocktail offerings would have been impressive even today. For 1960 they were unheard of. The first item was the “Pisco Sawer” for $1.30, described as a “Peruvian Brandy Sour.” There was a “Taxco Fizz” with mezcal, lime, sugar, and egg. The “Algarrobina Coctél” with pisco, Peruvian herbs, and lime. I could have been looking at the cocktail menu of a tapas restaurant circa 2010.

Among their selection of rum drinks—Bebidas con Ron—were all the Cuban classics: the Floridita, the Daiquiri, the Mojito.

But no Periodista.

One of the drinks on the “Bebidas—Mixtas—Típicas” menu did pique my interest. It was the “Coctél Alegría,” which contained pisco, Cointreau, and apricot brandy. Close, but no cigar. I’d struck out again.

I thought about Joe Baum. What had inspired him to create such a sophisticated cocktail program at La Fonda Del Sol? Who had he hired to create the program? Which future bartending luminaries had tasted their first Pisco Sour within those walls and thought, “This is how cocktails should be”? I left the Manuscripts Division, my questions still unanswered.

I walked out of the library, past the concrete lions, and into a cold rain. Who was I fooling? I was no Wondrich, no Beach Bum Berry or Wayne Curtis. I might aspire to leave a lasting impression on the cocktail world like they had, but I couldn’t stomach the paperwork. The only real hope for the Periodista story was for me to keep getting in the room with the right people. The right lead was out there—I could feel it.

There was one person I hadn’t managed to meet—a man who had left an indelible mark on the cocktail scene through his research and writing. He’d been a trial to find, but I’d finally gotten a call returned. He was my next stop, right there in New York City. The professor himself: Dr. Cocktail.

Periodista Tales: Greg Boehm—The Collector

The winter months slunk by and I was back in New York. A cold rain fell on the banks of unmelted snow lining the sidewalk along Sixth Avenue. Dogs wore coats and ski-gloved hands fumbled with umbrellas. I’d have said it was perfect Manhattan weather, but I didn’t want to risk the pun.

It had taken me this long to arrange some face time with Greg Boehm. Boehm owns Cocktail Kingdom, a company that imports Japanese and European cocktailing paraphernalia and publishes replicas of vintage cocktail books. Boehm owns most of the originals himself. He has one of the most extensive collections of rare cocktail books on the Eastern seaboard.

Boehm had already been my informant in absentia, clueing me in to the Periodista recipe in the 1948 Club de Cantineros manual—the oldest I’d found so far. I wondered what he might have turned up since.

When I stepped into the 21st Street offices of Cocktail Kingdom, I was assaulted by a forest of wooden swizzle sticks and pitchfork-tipped bar spoons. Phones rang, a handful of people scurried from printer to fax machine and back. Shelves were stacked high with Cocktail Kingdom reprints of David Embury’s The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks and William Schmidt’s The Flowing Bowl. Where I didn’t see books I saw bottles—vintage rums and ryes and more types of bitters than I’d ever seen in one place.

Boehm showed up late. He was wearing a knit pullover and a five-day beard. His hair was slicked back from his forehead, but long enough to fall around his ears in wet strands. Boehm took me into his office. Apparently someone had turned a used bookstore on its side and dumped all the contents onto Boehm’s desk. Somewhere among the chaos he found a chair and sat down. I stayed on my feet.

Boehm pulled out a tiny leatherette folio and placed it on top of a stack of ephemera. After a minute I recognized the bar manual of the Club de Cantineros de Cuba, first edition, 1930. It was smaller than I imagined, tiny compared to the 1948 edition.

I picked it up and flipped to the index. The Periodista wasn’t in there.

“It’s not in there,” Boehm said.

I tried to laugh, but the noise that came out was more sea mammal than human. Where was that Manhattan I ordered?

I told myself that an absence of information can be as good as a solid lead. At least this improved the odds that the Periodista was born sometime between 1930 and 1948, a window which happened to include the years when Ernest Hemingway was living down the street from the Floridita. Points for the Papa camp.

I glanced around Boehm’s office. His desk was piled high with Cuban cocktail pamphlets, books on Cuban rum and Cuban history. It looked like my desk would have if I were a more dedicated investigator—and if I had an office.

I asked Boehm how he got Cuba on the brain.

“I’m in an office full of bottles of Cuban rum,” he said. “The new stuff from Havana Club and also I’ve got all the old Bacardi from Cuba. I have some of the oldest bottles—and when I say bottles, I mean full bottles—full, unless we’ve started drinking them. But I don’t collect the glass, I collect the liquid.”

Boehm gestured to a shelf where decaying labels struggled to cling to cloudy glass bottles. I saw the familiar bat—Bacardi’s logo to this day—and the words Ron Superior, Santiago de Cuba.

“It all goes back to Salvatore Calabrese,” Boehm said. “Salvatore was my first major influence in the cocktail world, and his whole thing is liquid history. I’ll give you an example. My father published all of Salvatore’s books, which is how I got into this business. My father’s first name is Lincoln. After they had sold, like, a million copies of Salvatore’s book, he gave my father a bottle of Cognac from the year Lincoln was assassinated.”

Forget the Manhattan. I’ll have a slug of the Rémy Dead President XO.

“So I’m tasting all this stuff,” Boehm continued, “drinking Cuban rum from the 1930s and 40s. And reading recipes from my library, and it just suddenly seemed like I should bring it all together. So I’m going to be co-authoring a book with Dave Wondrich on Cuban cocktails.”

Wondrich. Was there any piece of the cocktail world’s pie that he didn’t have his fingers in? I asked Boehm what phase of the project they were in.

“Right now I’m collecting all the recipes,” he said. “Recipes that were extremely common or typical in Cuba. The recipes are coming from the 1890s through the 1950s, but predominantly the 1920s and 30s. I’ve been going through my collection of promotional pamphlets and transcribing recipes from there.”

Boehm started fumbling through his piles. Brightly-colored booklets cascaded over one another. Rum brands and logos blended together like a flipbook.

“The Cuban liquor companies put out so many booklets,” he said. “Here’s a Bacardi booklet from the 30s. This one’s in English.”

He held up the pamphlet with the word Bacardi blazing across it.

“One thing you have to know about Cuban cocktails,” Boehm said, “Cuban rums and cocktails, is that a lot of the history has been offered up by brands. And going back for years, too. Now Havana Club is flying me out to Cuba for a research trip. It’ll be pretty interesting to see how much of the information the brands have disseminated is actually true. And it’s a two-way street. I think Havana Club is as interested in learning what we know as we are in learning what they know.”

It was in a pamphlet like this that Joe McGuirk claims he found the Periodista recipe that started the revival of the cocktail in Boston. I asked Boehm if he could speculate on the drink’s origin, based on his current research.

“The drink that you’re looking into,” Boehm said, “the Periodista, it’s just so rare to see it at all. But, judging by approximately when it’s from, and what I’m hearing from you, it’s probably going to turn out that one of the liquor companies created it.”

Boehm started flipping through the pages of the booklet in his hands.

“I mean, a lot of fantastic cocktails came out of those booklets,” he said. “The Air Mail cocktail is originally from a Bacardi booklet. With the Air Mail a lot of people are like, ‘Oh, it’s from here, it’s from there,’ but by far the oldest I’ve gotten it back is in a Bacardi booklet. Now, I’ve never come across any literature from the liquor companies saying outright, ‘We created this,’ or claiming direct authorship of these cocktails, but certainly their first printed appearance is in the booklets. Of course, you never know who really made those booklets. That’s always a source of frustration.”

He closed the book. “Yeah,” he said. “It’s not in this one.”

I asked Boehm if it was ever possible to get a true origin story for a cocktail from that era.

“I’ve definitely read things that say, ‘This was invented by such-and-such a person on such-and-such a date, and usually they’re just not true,” he said. “I mean, I see that all the time. So, it’s hard. Especially for things like the Daiquiri. Those are frustrating—the oldest of a very basic cocktail. Okay, we have rum, we have sugar, we have limes. Hmm, we put them together! Wow! I mean, who created that? You’re never going to know. Maybe you could go after who named it. But the Jennings Cox stuff, is that true? I don’t know. I don’t think so, but I can’t even prove that not true.”

Boehm picked up another pamphlet.

“With Cuban cocktails there’s a couple tricks,” he said. “One thing that’s interesting is that they like to name drinks after people, which helps. Because you know when that person became famous, and the drink’s not older than that.”

He held the pamphlet open to a cocktail recipe, the Mary Pickford: pineapple juice, grenadine, and Bacardi. A sweet drink for America’s sweetheart—a Cuban-born drink named for a Canadian-born actress.

“But nothing’s absolute,” Boehm continued. “The best we can say is that this drink was an important drink in Cuba at this time. Is it going to be the first? I don’t know.”

I asked him if there was anything in particular he was hoping to uncover with his project.

“With this I’m not really looking for a big paycheck,” he said. “The closest thing to a big paycheck might be finding the oldest Mojito. I’m not worried about the oldest Daiquiri, because that’s just never going to happen, but the Mojito stuff I’m finding is pretty interesting. I’m a little surprised how many gin Mojitos seem to have been drunk. It wasn’t really a rum drink, you just made it with whatever you had—it was a category. That’s been one of the most interesting things, but I haven’t gotten even to the 20s yet.”

Boehm put the pamphlet back down and scanned the surface of his desk. It undulated with cocktail history, a recipe for every wave on the ocean.

“I’m really just trying to find the common thread in all the Cuban drinks,” he said. “I think people will be a little surprised at what cocktails are of Cuban origin. At the end of the day, I think the book’s going to define what makes a cocktail a Cuban cocktail. And there isn’t just one answer to that. But there are so many great personalities and stories in Cuban’s cocktail history, so I’m pretty excited about what I might be able to turn up.”

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