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The Modern Bar Cart Podcast

Oct 13, 2022

In this Midcentury cocktail retrospective with American Studies professor Cecelia Tichi, author of Midcentury Cocktails: History, Lore and Recipes from America's Atomic Age, some of the topics we discuss include:

  • The historical backdrop for the society and culture of the mid-20th century: that is, a nation simultaneously traumatized by decades of war and economic depression and invigorated by economic prosperity and technological revolution.
  • What drinking trends accompanied life in the big city, as well as those that took hold in the emerging, cookie cutter suburbs and the more upscale exurbs, where wealthy elites lived and vacationed.
  • What the ballooning size of cocktail glasses (from 3 to 4 ½ ounces) and certain published entertaining guides meant for casual gatherings, in particular: how much one would be expected to take down over the course of an evening.
  • We also examine certain bibulous subcultures like the aforementioned beat generation, commuters with access to bar cars on their train commute home from work, African Americans who relied on the famous Green Book when seeking entertainment and lodging on the road, and many other facets of mid-century life.
  • Along the way, we cover the allure of an emerging Tiki culture, the surprising influence of the Playboy Bar Book, whether or not Don Draper and the cast of Mad Men managed an accurate portrayal of this drink-soaked era, and much, much more.

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