In 1933, “the year that brought the end of the long drought,” the swank Del Monte Hotel near Monterey solicited favorite cocktail recipes from many of its famous patrons, The Great Celebrity Contest. The Great Celebrity Cocktail Contest was the brainchild of John Callin, mayor of Carmel-by-the Sea. Callin had formed a group called the National Association of the Advancement of the Fine Arts of Drinking and issued a call for original drink recipes to be mixed and tasted on December 5, at the Del Monte Hotel in Carmel. The National Association for Advancement of Fine Art of Drinking Recipes collected cocktail recipes from all parts of the country, which were tested and sampled by a group of competent experts at Hotel Del Monte. Contributors to this unique collection of mixed drinks included Ernest Hemingway’s Death in the Afternoon (gin, juice of fresh lemons and limes, crème de menthe and bitters), Theodore Dreiser contributed a tart drink he called the American Tragedy (gin, grapefruit juice and lemon juice); Edgar Rice Burroughs introduced his Tarzan Special and the Marx Brothers’ (pictured above) presented a recipe for their Honeymoon Punch (“One of these and the honeymoon is over”). Other concoctions were offered by Marlene Dietrich, Will Sparks, George M. Cohan, John Held, Bob Davis, Ed Wynn, W.C. Fields and Jo Mora, to name a few. According to Magnus Bredenbek’s What Shall We Drink? (1934) the cocktail invented by political writer Sam Blythe, Washington Merry-Go-Round Cocktail – a mixture of two-thirds dry gin, one-sixth French and one-sixth Italian vermouth – was awarded with the grand prize.

2018-09-29T19:11:28+01:00By |Categories: Latest News|