"The Sunday Mercury says that if you are at a hotel, and wish to call for a beverage compounded of brandy, sugar, absynthe, bitters and ice, called by the vulgar a cocktail, ask for une queue de chanticleer-it will be an evidence at once of your knowledge of French and of Chesterfield."
- The New Orleans Daily Picayune, February 2, 1843, p.2
[Transcribed by David Wondrich, October 2008]
The Chanticleer Society
There is a rapidly growing appreciation for the culinary art of the cocktail. We are seeing an increased interest in bartenders across the country to socialize and exchange recipes, research, tips, and opinions about drinks from the past, as well as new classically inspired creations they may be making. Many of these bartenders are drawing together into local bartender guilds to provide a formalized structure and communication network that their members can benefit from. Such a guild is rightly designed by, and for, bartenders. This however makes it difficult for the growing number of non-bartender cocktail enthusiasts to feel that they can play an active role in the study and advancement of the cocktail.
In an effort to establish an organization that will be designed by cocktailians, for cocktailians, and allow them to gather together and exchange information and insights, we have created the "Chanticleer Society". The name was chosen based on a newspaper clipping from 1843 that David Wondrich uncovered which provided the term "Chanticleer" as a more refined alternative to the vulgarly intoned "cock tail". As such it reflects both the refined nature that this organization will embody, while providing an enticingly mysterious designation as well.
The Chanticleer Society will not compete with bartender's guilds, or other similarly formed organizations, but will instead partner with them in order to provide the broadest range of information and resources for everyone concerned. Membership to the Chanticleer Society will be open to all and at the current time without any dues expected.
One goal of the Chanticleer Society is to establish ambassadors around the world who will be able to provide local details and information about bars, bartenders, and cocktail trends which will aid others in knowing where in their area to go for a great cocktail experience. These ambassadors will also be expected to promote appreciation of the cocktail to bars, bartenders, and customers in their area.
The Chanticleer Society is registered as a non-profit organization in Washington State, and work is underway for Federal registration as well.