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Drawing courtesy of David Wondrich.

Ciro Capozzi


Pivotal figure promoting American cocktail culture to Europeans

Ciro Capozzi worked mixing drinks in the United States before emerging as a public figure circa 1885 as the head bartender (succeeded by Leo Engel) of the Café de Paris’ small American-style bar opposite the Casino in Monte Carlo. Three years later, Capozzi had his own nearby bar/restaurant, Ciro’s. Ciro’s was elegant by design, and Capozzi attracted the attention of high society, plying them with American drinks in a context they could relate to. The business expanded and flourished as a family operation until he sold it and retired in 1911. The buyers went on to open luxurious Ciro’s locations in Paris, Deauville, London (see also Harry McElhone), Hollywood, Berin and finally New York City. The Deauville location survives, today. For more on Capozzi and Ciro’s, please see the Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails, p. 150-151.

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