Cocktail Kingdom Library (home)
Portrait from “American and Other Drinks”, 1880 printing

Leo Engel


The most prominent of early emissaries of the American Bar to London

Leo Engel was an American bartender of German extraction who worked in New York for many years, probably working for Jerry Thomas at some point (as he later claimed). Engel had the fortune to get “imported” to London in 1874, to operate an American-style bar at the Criterion Hotel. As part of that job, Engel produced the book he is remembered for: “American and Other Drinks” (London, 1875), one of the first of its sort in England. Engel tried to open a couple bars in London after leaving the Critereon in 1882, but they both failed, and he spent the rest of his career working seasonally in Paris and Monte Carlo.

Back to Major Figures of Cocktail History