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Photo from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, October 2, 1936

Eddie Woelke


One of the most famous bartenders of the 20th Century in the United States and Cuba

Woelke was an itinerant bartender spanning pre-Prohibition, Prohibition and post-Prohibition. Woelke logged time at many well-known New York bars before becoming part of the bartender diaspora as Prohibition arrived. To wait out Prohibition, Woelke chose Cuba, where he became associated with the Mary Pickford and El Presidente cocktails at the Hotel Nacional, and developed a relationship with Bacardi. After repeal, Woelke continued working up and down the Eastern United States, winning cocktail competitions, and being about as famous as bartenders got in that era. During a stint at New York’s Hotel Weylin, Woelke took advantage of his proximity to the publishing industry to assemble his own bar book, “The Barman’s Mentor” (1936).

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