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The Gibson is a New York Drink Gone Big in San Francisco

It was believed that the Gibson cocktail was created in San Francisco. In this 2008 blog post I cited what David Wondrich told us on a tour. The information is repeated in the Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails

Screenshot 2024-01-08 at 6.31.38 PM

But now new information has come to light. Martin Doudoroff shared information from a tweet on the Spirits and Cocktails bulletin board

It is an article from the San Francisco Examiner from 1896, a new earliest first reference to the drink. From this story it seems that:

  • The Gibson was probably invented in New York 
  • It became popular at The Bohemian Club in San Francisco - maybe not invented there but transmitted from NY to SF there
  • And then it became popular in New York later, after it was popular in SF
  • It could have been equal parts genever to dry vermouth rather than dry gin but became famous with dry gin

I always say (to myself): History is a moving target. 


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