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“I’ll Have Another”

Cocktail Culture in the Gilded Age

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Cocktail Culture in the Gilded Age at Marble House has closed.

The “Golden Age of Cocktails” blossomed in the decades after the Civil War, when rapid industrialization led to the accumulation of staggering wealth for the very few and great prosperity for a burgeoning middle class. From the 1870s through the 1910s, discriminating palates delighted in new inventions dubbed cocktails. In New York, New Orleans, Chicago, San Francisco and Newport, found that a whiskey or gin drink cooled with ice and blended with fruit or other flavorings enhanced dinner parties and sporting events, luncheons, balls, ocean crossings and cross-country sojourns by rail. The Gilded Age beckons us to visit its cocktail culture, when bartenders became the Edisons of libations and the forefathers of classic cocktails of today: the Martini, Manhattan, Old-Fashioned and many more. A signature cocktail from Tichi’s book will be served at the reception after the lecture and the author will be available for a book signing.

Cecelia Tichi is an award-winning teacher and the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English Emerita at Vanderbilt University. Her books span U.S. literature and culture from the 17th century through recent times, including a biography of Jack London and a book, “Civic Passions,” profiling seven activists in the tumultuous years of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era of the 1910s. Tichi’s books have been reviewed in The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Publishers’ Weekly and elsewhere. Her work has been supported by the Rockefeller and Mellon Foundations, and she has held the Chair in Modern Culture at the Library of Congress. She has lectured widely in the U.S. and internationally from Europe to East Asia. Tichi’s research and teaching inspired “What Would Mrs. Astor Do? The Essential Guide to the Manners and Mores of the Gilded Age,” followed by “Gilded Age Cocktails” and “Jazz Age Cocktails,” which set the stage for her mystery crime novels—the “Val and Roddy DeVere Gilded Age Series” that boasts “Gilded” in each title—the first, “A Gilded Death,” is set in Newport in the summer of 1898.

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