Ella Fitzgerald sang “We’ll Have Manhattan” and she probably didn’t mean the cocktail party, but how great would it be to have “a Manhattan” right now? Now, the true story behind the creation of this classic cocktail has been widely debated. The popular version claims that it was concocted by a certain Dr. Iain Marshall, invited to a party thrown by none other than Lady Randolph Churchill, Winston’s good mother, in honor of presidential candidate Samuel J. Tilden. It is said to have taken place in none other than New York’s exclusive Manhattan Club in the 1880s, earning the drink its famous nomenclature. But there is a catch. Turns out Mama Churchill was pregnant and in England at the time, and certainly not partying in New York. The most likely story comes from William F. Mulhall, a bartender who had worked at Hoffman House for over 30 years, who in the 1880s wrote, “The Manhattan cocktail was invented by a man named Black, who kept a place ten doors down. Houston Street on Broadway in the 1860s.
5. Irish Coffee
Now here comes our kind of cup o’ joe. During the 1940s, Foynes in Ireland had become one of Europe’s largest airports and an air base for transatlantic flights which often carried Hollywood stars and political figures. A new restaurant to cater to the upscale tastes of these exclusive guests was soon opened and a young chef named Joe Sheridan was put in charge. The weather was often terrible in the West and many times flights had to turn around and return to base. Compassionate to the plight of cold and weary travellers, Sheridan decided to concoct a concoction that was both tasty and would warm them up. Apparently an American took the first sip and asked if it was a Brazilian coffee, to which the young Sheridan proudly proclaimed that it was in fact an Irish coffee. Its worldwide success can be attributed to Stanton Delaplane, a travel writer who, upon returning to America, urged his friend Jack Koeppler, the owner of Buena Vista, to replicate it. With little success, the duo then reached out to Sheridan and the rest, as they say, was history.