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The Waldorf Astoria’s Bar Manager Picks the Most Popular Cocktails By Decade

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New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel—and its most iconic bar, Peacock Alley—has seen the ebbs and flows of tastes and trends, and withstood them by modernizing where needed, but mostly maintaining the storied allure and lore of yesteryear that makes “a classic” eternal. Peacock Alley’s bar manager Frank Caiafa spent over 3 years researching the hotel’s cocktail program—and cocktails in general—to revise the Waldorf Astoria’s bar book that was last published in 1934.

The revised book has over 1,000 recipes: what was hot in the 1930s, to now. Surely a lot has changed since Prohibition—tastes have fluctuated, ingredients have come and gone—but the story is what you know: Everything old is new again.

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Here are the most popular drinks by decade, according to Peacock Alley’s bar manager Frank Caiafa:

Champagne Cocktail

Champagne Cocktail by Erika Kotite

Voilà l'Été: The French 75

Voilà l'Été: The French 75 by pierino

1930s: Holdovers from Prohibition era—Orange Blossom, Bee's Knees, Champagne Cocktail, and French 75

"These recipes hid the less-than-stellar base spirit or avoided it completely."

A Very Good Bloody Mary

A Very Good Bloody Mary by Ali Slagle

Mai Tai

Mai Tai by Erik Lombardo

1940s: Bloody Mary and Mai Tai

"New favorites that happened to become classics."

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Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s Grasshopper Shake

Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s Grasshopper Shake by Genius Recipes

The Dessert-y Cocktail with a Bad Rap (& Why It’s Unfair)

The Dessert-y Cocktail with a Bad Rap (& Why It’s Unfair) by Sarah Baird

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1950s: Grasshopper and Brandy Alexander

"Now drinks were trending sweeter."

More: The history of the Brandy Alexander.

Whiskey Sour

Whiskey Sour by Erik Lombardo

Highball Glasses (Set of 4)

Highball Glasses (Set of 4)

$68

1960s: Whiskey Sour and Highballs (scotch and soda, gin and tonic)

"After the sweet, drinks trended simpler."

The Frozen Piña Colada Recipe You've Always Wanted

The Frozen Piña Colada Recipe You've Always Wanted by Samantha Weiss Hills

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A Classic Frozen Cocktail Made Better (+ a Giveaway!)

A Classic Frozen Cocktail Made Better (+ a Giveaway!) by Kenzi Wilbur

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1970s: Piña Colada, Frozen Daiquiri, and other fun group drinks made by batch

1980s: Vodka enhanced with liqueurs and or juices

"Think Blue Whales, Lemon Drops, Red Devils, Alabama Slammers."

1990s: Everything from the 80's, plus Long Island Iced Tea

"Oh boy!"

Mojito

Mojito by Jeffrey Morgenthaler

Old Fashioned

Old Fashioned by Let's Drink About It

2000s: Cosmopolitan and Mojito

2010s: Anything brown and stirred

"Everything old is new again."

Tell us: What's your spirit cocktail decade?

Tags: waldorf astoria, peacock alley