Cocktail Kingdom Library (home)
Portrait from “The History of the Brigham Family”, 1907

Peter Bent Brigham


Created the first “fancy drinks menu”, widely immitated

In 1828, Peter Bent Brigham opened an oyster shop located in Boston’s Concert Hall, and parlayed that in 1836 into a much larger, fancier, wildly successful “Oyster Saloon” (his concept). His Oyster Saloon included a bar with an unprecedented printed menu of fancy mixed drinks, many of which deviated from those familiar in the day. Brigham’s menus and its original drinks were reported upon, repeatedly, in newspapers around the country, inspiring widespread imitation. Brigham invested his profits wisely and died a wealthy bachelor, endowing Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Back to Major Figures of Cocktail History