Manhattan Cocktail Napkin 1930s
This 1930s image, taken from a cocktail napkin, is a perfect example of the creative mastery of vintage menu and restaurant accessory artists. The illustration shows Manhattan and its skyscrapers in a glass. Perfect for a city like New York that loves its booze.
Cocktail napkins, matchbooks, menus and table-toppers were all used as marketing tools for restaurants and bars.
This image may have a double meaning – it probably also represents the Manhattan cocktail made with whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters, strained over ice and served in a chilled glass.
The origin of the drink, named after the area in which it was served, goes back to the 1860s. Some historians believe it was invented by a bartender who worked in a bar on Broadway, near Houston Street. Another theory is that the drink originated at the Manhattan Club a decade later, created in honor of the Governor of New York and Presidential candidate Samuel J Tilden. The drink is mentioned in the bar book The Flowing Bowl, published in 1891.
The Manhattan-in-a-glass image came with no identifying marks of any restaurant or bar and we are still hoping to unearth more information about it.
Courtesy Private Collection.
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