This is actually pretty funny, folks.
For those who keep up with bartending news, the name Adam Seger might ring a bell. Essentially, he is the bartender credited for coming up with the Seelbach cocktail, a famous choice that was longtime believed to be a pre-Prohibition drink that Seger discovered the recipe for after being put in charge of the Seelbach Hotel in 1995.
The New York Times now reports, however, that even though the Seelbach cocktail has been widely viewed for a long time now as a rescued classic, Seger, 47, has finally admitted that in fact, the entire thing is a hoax.
What the what?
Apparently, Seger, who now runs the Tuck Room in downtown Manhattan, spun a story for years about how an old Seelbach bartender accidentally spilled and combined the contents of a manhattan and a Champagne cocktail; he tasted the mistake, and decided he loved it, and so put it on his menu.
None of the story, however, is true.
"I was nobody," Seger told The New York Times of his time as a bartender at the Seelbach Hotel. "I had no previous accolades in the bar world. I knew I could make a great drink. I wanted it to be this promotion for the hotel, and I felt the hotel needed a signature cocktail. How could you have a place that F. Scott Fitzgerald hung out in that doesn’t have a damn cocktail?"
To make a name for himself, Seger started rooting through the hotel's history, searching in vain for a Seelbach cocktail to no avail; even though he came across countless old menus, he came up short.
Therefore, he decided to take matters into his own mixologist hands, and created what is now known as the Seelbach cocktail: a combination of bourbon, triple sec, and Angostura and Peychaud's bitters, topped off with sparkling white wine. Delicious? Yes. A historic classic? Not so much.
Even though the story of the cocktail was picked up and circulated in the media, Seger says nobody ever asked him to produce actual evidence of the old (fabricated) menu.
Now, even though the secret is out, the Seelbach Hotel's director of public relations, Matthew Willinger, told The New York Times that they still plan on keeping the drink on the menu, saying that the cocktail "has certainly been a tradition of the hotel and will remain part of its future."