Skip to content

Mamie Taylor, Swank Cocktail #48

🏠 » Cocktails » Swank Cocktail Guide: 80 cocktails in 80 days

Mamie Taylor cocktail
Mamie Taylor cocktail

The Mamie Taylor is cocktail number 48 on the Swank Cocktail Guide.

Mamie Taylor cocktail history

Mayme Taylor, stage actress, 1901, J. Willis Sayre Collection of Theatrical Photographs, public domain
Mayme Taylor, stage actress, 1901, J. Willis Sayre Collection of Theatrical Photographs, public domain

A 1902 Syracuse, New York newspaper article tells the story of the creation and naming of the Mamie Taylor in Rochester, New York in 1899:

Several stories have been told about the origin of the Mamie Taylor drink, but a prominent member of the Homer Lind organization said yesterday that the Miss Mayme Taylor of their company stood its sponsor.

“It was while Miss Taylor was the prima donna of an opera company playing at Ontario Beach, near Rochester, in 1899,” he said, that she was asked with a number of other members of the company to go out sailing on the lake. As the day was hot and the breeze rather strong, the party returned after a few hours longing for some cooling refreshments. When Miss Taylor was asked what she would have she expressed the wish for a long but not strong drink-in fact, a claret lemonade. When the drink was served it was very evident that it wasn’t a claret lemonade, for it looked like a delicious long drink of sparkling champagne. On tasting it Miss Taylor found it much to her liking, but asked to have the flavor softened with a piece of lemon peel. When this was done the new combination drink was declared a complete success. Bystanders had been watching the proceedings and noticing the evident enjoyment with which Miss Taylor and a few of her friends relished in new drink they finally asked the hotel keeper what drink it was that was being served to them and without hesitation the hotel man replied “a Mamie Taylor” and the name seemed to meet the instantaneous favor and has become famous all over the country.”

Full transcription of article below.
"Mayme Taylor, Actress, Mamie Taylor, Beverage," newspaper article, The Post-Standard (Syracuse, New York), 7 Mar 1902, p. 5, col. 1.
“Mayme Taylor, Actress, Mamie Taylor, Beverage,” newspaper article, The Post-Standard (Syracuse, New York), 7 Mar 1902, p. 5, col. 1.
"Irivng Brooks and Mayme Taylor, The Plumber," newspaper advertisement, Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, New York), 4 May 1902, p. 16, col. 1.
“Irivng Brooks and Mayme Taylor, The Plumber,” newspaper advertisement, Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, New York), 4 May 1902, p. 16, col. 1.

Mamie Taylor, Mostly Ginger Ale, with a Little Scotch and a Bit of Lemon Peel

The drink became quite a hit and was apparently popular at the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, held in June 1900. Interestingly, William, a New York bartender interviewed in June 1900 about the cocktail’s popularity stated:

“The Mamie Taylor is not new. I used to mix them years ago, but they went out of fashion and have only recently been taken up again. A Mamie Taylor is a long drink of ginger ale, with a little Scotch whisky and a bit of lemon peel in it.

It is a very simple drink and very cooling in the summer. It gave way to the “Whisper of the Forest” and the “Murmer of the Shells,” both excellent summer drinks, but it appears as though I would have to get my hand in on Mamie Taylors again, for since those politicians began to drink them in Philadelphia, there has been a steady demand for them there.

William does not know the origin of the name of the Mamie Taylor, but thinks he can find out by consulting some of the old records from which he wrote his first book on mixed drinks. If he does find out he has promised to the the The Sun know.

"Mamie Taylor, Mostly Ginger Ale, with a Little Scotch and a Bit of Lemon Peel," newsapaper article, The Sun (New York, New York), 20 June 1900, p. 7, col. 6.
“Mamie Taylor, Mostly Ginger Ale, with a Little Scotch and a Bit of Lemon Peel,” newspaper article, The Sun (New York, New York), 20 June 1900, p. 7, col. 6.

Mamie Taylor Man Dead, Reporter Who Made the Cocktail Famous, Commits Suicide

In 1901, Wilbert Prescott Clarke, a newspaper editor working for the Toledo Times in Ohio, committed suicide at the Niagara Hotel in Toledo at the age of 27.

Wilbert had met and fallen in love in 1901 with Valeria Kreighoff, whose parents were not keen on the couple’s relationship and sent her to Buffalo, New York.Wilbert followed her to Buffalo and the couple was married on the 26th of September in 1901. A brother retrieved Valerie, taking her back to Detroit.

Despondent, Wilbert took laudanum and died on the 1st of December of 1901. He was buried on the 4th of December at Forest. The Toledo Times appears to have paid for his funeral.

In one of the many newspaper notices of his death, it states:

Clarke said that he was instrumental in making the “Mamie Taylor” cocktail popular having been the first to write up the drink in a New York paper.

"Wilbert Prescott Clarke and Valeria Kreighoff Wed," marriage announcement, The Buffalo Review (Buffalo, New York), 28 Sept 1901, p. 7, col. 3.
“Wilbert Prescott Clarke and Valeria Kreighoff Wed,” marriage announcement, The Buffalo Review (Buffalo, New York), 28 Sept 1901, p. 7, col. 3.
"Newspaper Man Took Laudanum," newspaper article, The St. Louis Republic (St. Louis, Missouri), 3 Dec 1901, p. 6, col. 4.
“Newspaper Man Took Laudanum,” newspaper article, The St. Louis Republic (St. Louis, Missouri), 3 Dec 1901, p. 6, col. 4.
"Mamie Taylor Man Dead, Reporter Who Made the Cocktail Famous, Commits Suicide," newspaper article, The Scranton Republican (Scranton, Pennsylvania), 4 Dec 1901, p. 1, col. 5.
“Mamie Taylor Man Dead, Reporter Who Made the Cocktail Famous, Commits Suicide,” newspaper article, The Scranton Republican (Scranton, Pennsylvania), 4 Dec 1901, p. 1, col. 5.

Three Mamie Taylor cocktail recipes

Jacques Straub’s Drinks, published in 1914, contains three Mamie Taylor cocktail recipes on page 74:

Mamie Taylor

Use Collin glass.
1 large lump of ice.
1 jigger Scotch whiskey.
Juice of one-half lime.
1 bottle imported ginger ale.
Stir well.

Mamie Taylor,
Southern Style

Use long thin glass.
Peel of lemon in one string.
Place in glass so it hangs over.
1 jigger Scotch whiskey.
1 piece cube ice.
1 quart imported ginger ale.

Mamie Taylor’s Sister

Use Collins glass.
1 jigger dry gin.
1 lime squeezed and dropped in.
1 bottle imported ginger ale.
1 large cube ice.

Jacques Straub's Drinks, 1914, p. 74, Mamie Taylor cocktail recipes.
Jacques Straub’s Drinks, 1914, p. 74, Mamie Taylor cocktail recipes.

Mamie Taylor cocktail recipe

Mamie Taylor cocktail recipe
Mamie Taylor cocktail recipe

Place in large glass with ice cubes, 1 slice Lemon, 2 jiggers Gin or Scotch. Fill with Ginger Ale. Stir and serve.

We made two versions of the Mamie Taylor, one with Gin, one with Scotch.
Ingredients used:

  • Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve Single Malt Scotch Whisky
  • Canada Dry Ginger Ale
  • Lemon
  • Hendrick’s Gin
  • Canada Dry Ginger Ale
  • Lemon

Mamie Taylor cocktail review

Our ratings (1-5 🍸)

Greg:
Kim:

Scotch Mamie Taylor

🍸🍸🍸🍸
🍸🍸🍸🍸

Gin Mamie Taylor

🍸🍸🍸🍸🍸
🍸🍸🍸🍸🍸

Both versions of the Mamie Taylor are very refreshing; a perfect drink for a casual summer afternoon. We liked the Gin version slightly more than the Scotch version, but it was a close call.

Next up…Cocktail #49, Manhattan (Dry)

Swank Cocktail Guide: 80 cocktails in 80 days

Mayme Taylor, Actress: Mamie Taylor, Beverage

First Said to Have Been Sponsor at Christening of Latter

The appearance of the name of Miss Mayme Taylor on the programme at the Bastable Theater this week and its similarity to the delicious but deceptive summer drink known as the “Mamie Taylor,” has caused many people in the audience to wonder if there was any connection between the two. The wonder has been increased by a little incident that occurs in the sketch “The Plumbers,” which Miss Taylor and Irving Brooks are presenting at the Bastable. Brooks as a plumber, but believed by Miss Taylor, who appears in the role of a society lady with an aching tooth, to be a dentist, whom she is expecting, makes himself free with the contents of the sideboard, saying that he will mix himself a gin fizz or a Mamie Taylor only the latter would be too personal

Several stories have been told about the origin of the Mamie Taylor drink, but a prominent member of the Homer Lind organization said yesterday that the Miss Mayme Taylor of their company stood its sponsor.

“It was while Miss Taylor was the prima donna of an opera company playing at Ontario Beach, near Rochester, in 1899,” he said, that she was asked with a number of other members of the company to go out sailing on the lake. As the day was hot and the breeze rather strong, the party returned after a few hours longing for some cooling refreshments. When Miss Taylor was asked what she would have she expressed the wish for a long but not strong drink-in fact, a claret lemonade. When the drink was served it was very evident that it wasn’t a claret lemonade, for it looked like a delicious long drink of sparkling champagne. On tasting it Miss Taylor found it much to her liking, but asked to have the flavor softened with a piece of lemon peel. When this was done the new combination drink was declared a complete success. Bystanders had been watching the proceedings and noticing the evident enjoyment with which Miss Taylor and a few of her friends relished in new drink they finally asked the hotel keeper what drink it was that was being served to them and without hesitation the hotel man replied “a Mamie Taylor” and the name seemed to meet the instantaneous favor and has become famous all over the country.”

Whether she stood sponsor at the christening of the new drink does not matter so very much. Anyway in the song she sings in her sketch a the Bastable Mayme Taylor of the stage is nearly as popular as is Mamie Taylor the beverage. She has had a good deal of experience in operatic roles and her vocal efforts have been well received by Bastable audiences “The Plumber” is not an especially good vehicle for the exception of vocal talent but what Miss Taylor does she does well.

“Mayme Taylor, Actress, Mamie Taylor, Beverage,” newspaper article, The Post-Standard (Syracuse, New York), 7 Mar 1902, p. 5, col. 1.

Press and guest articles

1890 New Bedford Photo Album featured in South Coast Today | Standard-Times
MyHeritage Guest Article by Kimberli Faulkner Hull
MyHeritage Guest Article by Kimberli Faulkner Hull

Latest projects