Duffy & de Fleury come to Martin’s Index

Pleased to announce a new database update for Martin’s Index that brings the recipe total over 1500!

1934 produced two daunting cocktail recipe books: Patrick Gavin Duffy’s The Official Mixer’s Manual and R. de Fleury’s 1700 Cocktails for the Man Behind the Bar.

The former was published in the United States to capitalize on Repeal. It’s “author”, Patrick Gavin Duffy, was a journeyman New York City bartender and saloon-keeper active for forty years before sinking into relative obscurity during the Prohibition years. His is an odd book in that it almost perfectly rips off the recipe content of the Savoy Cocktail Book, while completely reorganizing and resetting it. Despite all the editorial work, the recipes themselves don’t change much or exhibit much refinement. Mainly, Duffy did two interesting things: he grouped each recipe by base, giving each base its own chapter; and he assigned a specific serving glass to each drink, supported by an illustrated Glassware chapter. The result is a “better” Savoy Cocktail Book… sort of. Along the way, Duffy does add a few recipes, 34 of which are now in Martin’s Index.

The latter was published in England, and as of this writing, I know basically nothing about its author or genesis. Like Duffy, 1700 Cocktails rips off the Savoy Cocktail Book wholesale (which itself ripped off several other sources), but the book also contains a startling number of novel drinks, and references many new ingredients such as: Aperitif Rossi, Drambuie, Martini & Rossi Bianco, Pimm’s, Tabasco Sauce, blue curaçao, zubrowka and passion fruit juice. Plymouth Gin and Martini & Rossi were prominent sponsors of the book, and wherever possible, their products are substituted in the recipes. Bènèdictine and Seagrams were also sponsors and prominently featured. Beyond that, the book is a wad o’ drinks in small type, and most of the recipes are expressed eccentrically in fractions. Nevertheless, over 120 drinks from 1700 Cocktails have joined Martin’s Index.

That said, I’m a bit ambivalent. I’ve now poured over thousands and thousands of recipes published (and re-published) in the early 1930s. The anthologies in this era became vast, but they also grew weedy—indeed clogged—with redundancy. Sure, there are novel drinks, too, but many look like leftovers, not the product of creativity and innovation. It’s entirely possible that some of these recipes I’ve added to the Index should later be removed as not quite worthy of the space they occupy. Time will tell, and I welcome your feedback.