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West Coast Mag Thinks East Coast Has More Important Cocktail People

Tiki maestro Victor Bergeron.
Tiki maestro Victor Bergeron. Photo: Courtesy of Trader Vic’s

They purport some objectivity and claim to have a 100-year cutoff for their list of the 25 Most Influential Cocktail Personalities, but Imbibe magazine’s latest canon leans heavily in an East Coast direction and stretches the century thing with the additions of Jerry Thomas (The Bar-Tender’s Guide, 1862) and Harry Johnson (The Bartenders’ Manual, 1882). They give a few obvious nods to the likes of Dale DeGroff and contemporary startender Sasha Petraske, and for West Coast recognition it’s all Tiki, with Victor Bergeron, who opened the first Trader Vic’s in Oakland in 1937, and Donn Beach of Don the Beachcomber fame.

The only recognition given to the current, culinary cocktail trend is to Audrey Saunders of NY’s Pegu Club, who writer Paul Clarke says “helped put the ‘craft’ in the classic cocktail movement.”

Imbibe is Portland-based and Clarke is Seattle-based, so there should be no excuse for the NY-centrism. And we could name a few more Left Coast heavyweights who might belong on the list, but we’ll save that for another day.

The 25 Most Influential Cocktail Personalities of the Past Century [Imbibe]
Also see related cover story list The 25 Most Important Cocktails [Cocktail Chronicles]
Earlier: Two Things Bartenders Will Hate You For [Grub Street NY]

West Coast Mag Thinks East Coast Has More Important Cocktail People