Locke Ober Cafe Case Study

1474 Words 6 Pages
Organized efforts to control and limit drinking or the sale of alcohol have been persistent in the United States since the early nineteenth century. For many years, before any public demonstration was made against the liquor traffic, and for some years after, distilleries by many people were deemed a blessing to the community. They provided a ready market for any surplus grain that was raised. The business was considered respectable; and members of churches, and even deacons engaged in it without any detriment to their moral character or standing in society. But, after a few years of temperance work, it dawned upon the minds of some that these distilleries were a source of evil rather than good, for they were “sowing the seeds of drunkenness …show more content…
Shake all ingredients very well over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with orange wheel and cherry (if desired). Let’s let our minds wander back to Downtown Crossing to a dimly lit bar in 1898. Picture yourself sitting in what was one of Boston’s finest dining establishments, the Locke-Ober Café (now known as Yvonne’s). It is the night before Election Day, and the Hendricks Club is gathered at the bar awaiting victory of their founder, Irish-American politician Martin Michael Lomasney, AKA “The Mahatma”. They are there to celebrate the certainty of Lomasney’s election as a representative to the Massachusetts General Court, the state legislature. The club calls for a special drink for their man. Bartender Tom Hussion pulls out a bottle of whiskey (or rye or bourbon). He cuts a lemon, squeezing the juice into the glass, adding in sugar to make the whiskey sour. But this occasion called for something more. Something better. Hussion daringly adds a squeeze from an orange and then a dash of grenadine. “Delicious! We’ll call it the Ward Eight,” the bar exclaimed—or so the story …show more content…
Place mint inside over-size vintage glass, muddle, remove. Shake rye, lemon, and simple syrup in ice cocktail shaker. Strain into prepared glass filled with crushed ice. Measure grenadine, add bitters, and “sink” into center of cocktail. Top with soda water and garnish elaborately, and you have a Ward Eight. Are you confused yet? Right, I forgot to mention there’s no actual record of what the real Ward Eight recipe is. The drink, though it admittedly tastes quite unpleasant, has survived for more than a century—through the saloon era to prohibition— simply on stories and variations of the recipe. The myth of the Ward Eight has become so engrained in Boston’s history that the truth is quite frankly beside the point. Though the Ward Eight was meant to be a celebratory cocktail named for Lomasney, it’s a bit ironic—considering the fact that he did not drink. A teetotaler champions a cocktail, a symbolic “dive bar” outlives a gourmet 5-star restaurant—these paradoxes engrained in Boston’s unique drinking history have remained a tantalizing mystery for over a century. Doctor Seuss could have done much with the subject. From a historical lens, the same myths and symbols can have greatly different meanings at different times and places. Therefore they need not be viewed as unchanging, but as vehicles that can help us communicate and understand

Related Documents