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History of the Cocktail: The Platinum Age of the Cocktail
  • Date: Saturday, December 12, 2015
  • Time: 2:45 pm
  • Location: William G. McGowan Theater, Washington, DC

Bartender Jim Meehan once noted that we currently live in the “Platinum Age” of cocktails, due to the proliferation of classic and creative cocktails but also because of the tools, products and information available to bartenders. The resultant landscape of cocktails and cocktail culture draw from both the past and present culinary innovations. It’s possible to have an authentically produced Old Fashioned as well as have it served in an ice sphere.

Moderated by Talia Baiocchi of Punch Magazine, panelists include Jackson Cannon, Charles Joly, Jim Meehan, and Pamela Wiznitzer.

This program is part of a series on the history of spirits and cocktails in America, curated by Derek Brown and presented by the National Archives Foundation in conjunction with the National Archives Museum exhibit “Spirited Republic: Alcohol in American History,” on display in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery through January 10, 2016.



Jackson Cannon

Son and brother of renowned award­-winning journalists Lou and Carl Cannon, Jackson   grew up immersed in a world of travel, politics and literature. Since his initial introduction to the bar world as a musician and talent booker in Boston, MA, Jackson Cannon has become one of that city’s most prominent bartenders, and stands among the most highly regarded authorities on spirits and cocktails in the country.  His work as a Bar Manager has received widespread acclaim, first with neighborhood brasserie Eastern Standard (winner of Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Award for “Best High Volume Cocktail Bar” in 2012) and later with cocktail lounge The Hawthorne (2014 James Beard Foundation Award semifinalist for “Outstanding Bar Program”).  Cannon frequently travels throughout America and abroad to further his knowledge of spirits and drinking culture, both to deepen his understanding and to provide exceptional training programs for his staff. Cannon’s commitment to fostering the development of rising talent in the spirits and cocktail community earned him a nomination for “Best Bar Mentor” at Tales of the Cocktail’s 2013 Spirited Awards. He also frequently judges at esteemed industry competitions such as Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards and the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.


Charles Joly

Chicago native Charles Joly  is an award-winning, lifelong food and beverage professional. In 2012 Joly took on the roll of Beverage Director at the Aviary in Chicago. Partnered with Chef Achatz this venture was granted the 2013 James Beard Award for Outstanding Bar Program. Formerly Chief Mixologist and founder of the Drawing Room in and EGM for Three Headed Productions, Joly has opened and overseen seven venues in three different states and has developed one of the most respected beverage programs in the nation.

In 2013, Joly co-founded Crafthouse Cocktails, the first all natural, premium prepared cocktail line in the country. In 2014, Crafthouse was awarded the highest ratings ever given in the category.

As an active USBG member, Joly has won some of the most prestigious cocktail competitions both nationally and globally, becoming one of the most decorated bartenders in the field. In 2014, Joly won the World Class Global bartending title, beating out 47 countries to bring the crown to the United States for the first time. While continuing his education, Joly has completed the most advanced courses available through both the USBG and the BAR program in New York. In addition to creating cocktails, Joly is a tasting judge for the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and BTI. He continues to travel the world studying spirits, cocktails and culture while sharing his passion with the beverage community wherever he may be.


Jim Meehan

Jim Meehan, a bar operator, educator, and author of The PDT Cocktail Book, worked at some of New York City’s most popular restaurants and bars including Gramercy Tavern and the Pegu Club before opening the James Beard Award winning bar PDT in 2007.  The former editor of Food & Wine Cocktails and the Mr. Boston Bartender’s Guide, Meehan now serves as the drinks editor for Tasting Table.


Pamela Wiznitzer

Since 2006, Pamela Wiznitzer has been working in bars throughout New York City, most recently as the Creative Director and bartender at Seamstress on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. She has earned honors from her industry peers such as winning 1st place in the 2014 National Restaurant Association’s “Star of the Bar” competition and 1st place in the 2013 Louis Royer “Show Me the Proof” competition. She received a nomination for the Spirited Awards’  2014 “American Bartender of the Year” at Tales of the Cocktail and was named the “2014 Bartender of the Year” by the Village Voice. Additionally, she was just named as one of

Food & Wine Magazine‘s top 10 Rising Star Mixologists. She currently serves as the President of the New York chapter of the United States Bartenders’ Guild. Pamela is committed to and believes in the continuation of her pursuit of knowledge and is currently working towards a master’s degree in Food Studies with a concentration on spirits and alcohol at NYU’s Steinhardt School. Additionally, she presents her research at seminars and conferences, covering topics such as Women and Whiskey, the history of women behind bars, and the neurology of taste.

Pamela is a recent graduate of the rigorous Beverage Alcohol Resources 5 day program earning top honors by passing the course “Bar Ready.” Pamela writes for various publications about the spirit and alcohol industry and has been featured in multiple publications including Tasting Panel, Travel & Leisure, Bar Business Magazine, The Village Voice, Zagat, GlamourCosmopolitan, Shape, Self, The New York Times, ABCNews.com, and Underground Eats as well as recurring media appearances on the Food Network, Vh1, NBC, LXTV, Fox & Friends and BetterTV.


Moderated by Talia Baiocchi

Talia Baiocchi is the editor in chief of the online drinks and culture magazine PUNCH and the author of the James Beard Award-nominated Sherry (Ten Speed Press). She was the first-ever wine editor at Eater.com, a former opinion columnist at Wine Spectator, and has written for The San Francisco Chronicle, Decanter, Bon Appétit and Wine & Spirits Magazine, among others. She has a degree in journalism and political science from New York University and has been featured in numerous publications, including Forbes as a member of the magazine’s 2013 “30 under 30” list. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.