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Barflies and Cocktails
Lecram Press 1927 - Lecram Press, 41, Rue des Trois-Bornes, Paris, Copyright by Harry McElhone 1927. Tod Sloan, a former American star jockey, acquired a bar in Paris in 1911 and renamed it the “New York Bar”. He then hired Harry McElhone, a barman from Dundee, Scotland to run it. In 1923, McElhone bought the bar and renamed it “Harry’s New York Bar”. The bar since became one of the most famous bars in the world and, today, is still owned by a member of the family. Harry’s over the years was a favorite drinking hole of the expatriate American and British communities. Frequent imbibers included Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sinclair Lewis, Coco Chanel, Jack Dempsey, Rita Hayworth, Humphrey Bogart, D.B. Wyndham Lewis and Brendan Behan. In the 1960 Ian Fleming short story “From a View to a Kill”, James Bond recalls visiting Harry’s bar during his first visit to Paris at age 16. The “Ivories” Piano Bar at Harry’s is where George Gershwin composed “An American in Paris”. Harry’s reputedly was the birthplace of classic cocktails such as the Bloody Mary, Side Car and Monkey Gland. This book includes a section entitled “The Birth of the IBF. In 1924, journalist O. O. McIntyre wrote an article for the Cosmopolitan wherein he referred to the “barflies” of this, our fair city (Paris). Harry McElhone’s prompt response was a follow up advertisement in which he called for an organization meeting of barflies in his own urban retreat. About Christmas, 1924, the International Bar Flies (IBF) was organized at Harry’s New York Bar. Big Blue Bottlefly, O.O. McIntyre, was installed as President and Little Blue Bottlefly, Harry McElhone, became Vice-President. The last word in this section is “Bzzzzzzzzzz” The illustration, see photo, on the back cover of the book shows two flies facing each other surrounded by lots of Buzz. The aim of IBF was the serious business of drinking. Members had their own secret handshake and they decorated their ties with a tie clip featuring two friendly well dressed flies. IBF exists still. D. B. Wyndham was a British journalist, author and biographer. He lived in Paris during the mid-1920’s while doing historical research for his biography of Francois Villon. He also wrote biographies of Moliere, Rabelais and Gilles de Rais. After returning to Britain, he co-wrote the screenplay for the first version of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Man Who Knew Too Much”. This fine association copy, has the following presentation script written over most of the title page (see photo) “To D B Wyndham Lewis with a mean Buzz fraternally yours I.B.F. Harry’s New York Bar Paris 13th Aug 1927” This smallish book is in very good condition, solid and square. Slight scuffing of the covers. Page sizes are 155 x 105mm and the book has 112 pages. There are photos and illustrations by Wynn throughout the volume and there are many vignettes illustrating the cocktail recipes. Wynn has signed the illustration on the back cover and is the likely illustrator for the front cover. On the last two blank pages in the book, an unknown person, has written the recipe for two versions of Rum Punch hot – a bonus. This wonderful book not only features one of the most famous and influential bars in the world but also is the source of the term “barfly” firmly entrenched in our lexicon. This volume would certainly be a cornerstone of any mixology collection. Bookseller inventory number 9912a. [Attributes: First Edition; Signed Copy; Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Raven & Gryphon Fine Books]
Last Found On: 2017-11-04           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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