Mamie Taylor – Recipe from the ‘Old Waldorf Bar Guide’
Just who originated the Mamie Taylor is not a matter of record. So far as accessible authorities know, its recipe was first published one day in the old New York Herald, early in the century. James Gordon Bennett, proprietor of the newspaper, believed that a new drink took rank among other inventions, and its creation might be chronicled in his paper as a matter of news.
Solon made the first Mamie Taylor that ever graced the Waldorf Bar. He did not invent it. But it so happened that he had read the recipe in the Herald the morning of the day when Traverson, head waiter of the Empire Room, came into the Bar at lunch time and said to him, “Johnnie, I’ve got a real job for you.
“What’s that?” Solon asked.
“Well, I’ve got a customer who says he bets he can name a drink you can’t make.
“Huh! A Mamie Taylor? That’s easy,” Solon averred. He had torn out the recipe and put it in his pocket.
So under the eyes of “the head waiter, Johnnie calmly proceeded to cut a lime in half, poured a jigger of Scotch whiskey, followed it with some cracked ice, dug into the refrigerator for a bottle of imported ginger ale, filled the glass, and stirred it with a long spoon.
Traverson himself took the new drink into the Empire Room. After a few minutes, he came back.
“That fellow says you must be a wizard,” he told Solon.
“Why, he had never heard of the drink until he read about it in the Herald this morning.”
Johnnie did not betray the source of his wizardry, but that day he sold a lot of Mamie Taylors. Traverson, a good salesman, had spread the fame of Johnnie’s accomplishment among patrons of the Empire Room.
Juice one-half Lime
One jigger Scotch Whiskey
One bottle Imported Ginger Ale
Even Embury had something nice to say about this drink ‘James Gordon Bennet ran the recipe in the “New York Herald” stating that he considered it most decidedly news – it was not only news, it was good news’.
Mamie Taylor or more correctly Mayme Taylor was an ok singer, doing the circuit of all the everywhere worth visiting throughout the North East of USA. The story goes that she went sailing one day and on returning was served a whiskey and ginger ale by mistake, she liked it, but asked for a big piece of citrus inside, which the bar man dutifully did, and named the drink after her on the spot. Soon after the Syracuse Post-Standard declared that “Mayme Taylor of the stage is nearly as popular as is Mamie Taylor, the beverage.”, alas she was not to overtake her drinks fame and but a few years later she was singing the ’10 cent circuit’. It turned out a drink named after her had more staying power and star quality.