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Photo of the Holland House, from Wikipedia

George J. Kappeler

c. 1865–????

Wrote (arguably) the finest 19th Century cocktail book

George Kappeler was apparently a bartender at Holland House, New York. He was definitely the author of “Modern American Drinks” (1895), considered by some to be the finest 19th Century cocktail book. Like Proulx before him, Kappeler wrote in careful prose, implying some of the thinking behind the each drink. Except for his book, however, Kappeler remains a complete mystery, leaving behind no clues about his life, and raising the possibility that the book was published under a pseudonym. Meanwhile, the book sold well enough that it enjoyed multiple printings.

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