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Portrait from “The Bon-Vivant’s Companion”

Jeremiah P. Thomas


The most famous bartender of the mid-19th Century; author of the first recipe book of the American bar

Thomas was an itinerant bartender and devoted member of the sporting set, nicknamed “Professor” by those in his mileu. The mercurial Thomas reached his zenith (and nadir) as a bar owner in New York City, where, for a while, he was the most famous bartender in the world. Thomas wrote the first book of cocktail recipes, a trade book, published in 1862. (Subsequent 1876 and 1887 editions probably executed by the publisher without Thomas’ involvement.) Thomas’ book sold well, and would be plagiarized relentlessly in coming decades, providing a de facto standard set of recipes for the American Bar. Thomas appears to have composed a second book in 1863, but it was apparently never printed, despite receiving reviews in the press. Thomas is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx.

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