The Saloons of Yesterday
Just like any other business, bar owners need to make sure that their establishments are always properly stocked with the proper tools, equipment, and supplies. If you were a bar owner before prohibition, one of the companies you might have turned to in order to fill your orders would be the "Albert Pick" company.
The Museum has come across an old catalog from the Albert Pick company that provides a snapshot of the type of products that might be found in bars and saloons just prior to the enactment of Prohibition. Below are just a few items that are listed within its pages.
The KRASKEY Sanitary Shaker
Touted as a revolutionary design, this is the way that many of the better shakers are made today. It was offered as both a normal shaker base (shown on the left), which you would normally use a simple pint glass with to form a "Boston" shaker, or you could purchase it as a "Combination" shaker (aka. Cobbler Shaker), which was of a three part design that included a built-in strainer section as well as a lid. Note the contraption on the inside of the strainer section. The catalog listing comments that this is an "egg and ice breaker", but it also helped hold the ice back when the drink was being poured out and would allow a much quicker flow.
A Set of Strainers
Here, we see three different strainers that a bartender might use. The wire mesh design is fairly common today, but usually with the two prongs as we see in the "Handy" strainer, or with four prongs. Note that the "Handy" strainer came in two sizes, one size to be used with the mixing glass, and another slightly larger one to be used with the mixing tin. Most strainers today are sized for the mixing tin.
The third strainer we see is often referred to as a "Julep" strainer. This style, as indicated in the catalog, is specifically designed for use with the mixing glass, and not the mixing tin.
This, slightly complex device, is what might be used to squeeze lemons for the fresh lemon juice that is commonly used in a well made drink. Most similar devices these days are made entirely of metal, or plastic, but this one combined metal and glass in order to create an easy to clean tool.
Prior to Prohibition, there were many different types and brands of bitters that the bartender would use for specific cocktails. In many cases, the bars would make up their own special bitters as well which they would proudly use. The better bars, would often display these different bitters in fancy and unique bottles.
Classic Attire for a Classy Bar
The staff at the bar would need to dress the part, and so selecting just the right crisp and stylish vests and vest coats would be necessary for setting the proper atmosphere.