The May/June 2010 issue cover story features the 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past Century. Compiling that list got us thinking about the people behind some of those cocktails, so we thought it only fitting to create a list of the 25 most influential cocktail personalities of the last 100 years. For this list, we considered the type of influence someone has had on the cocktail world as well as the duration of that influence—and keep in mind that these are people who have specifically influenced cocktail culture, not spirits. Whether they’ve created an iconic cocktail, spawned a cocktail trend or dedicated themselves to educating the public about the craft of cocktails, the following 25 people (listed alphabetically) have undoubtedly impacted the way we all drink cocktails today, and for that, we toast each of them.
A former Marine and bartender, the always outspoken Ray Foley (no relation to Imbibe founder, Karen Foley) launchedBartender Magazine three decades ago, serving for a long stretch as one of the few magazines dedicated to bartending. He’s authored several bartending books (as well as a few joke books) and founded The Bartenders’ Foundation, a non-profit that raises scholarship money for bartenders and their families.