A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from September 10, 2008
Algonquin Cocktail

The Algonquin Hotel, at 59 West 44th Street in Manhattan, opened in 1902 and has a storied history, although the hotel is not particularly known for its food and drink. The Algonquin cocktail consists of whiskey, vermouth and pineapple juice.

The date of origin of this cocktail is unknown. The “Algonquin cocktail” cited below from 1925 is a different drink entirely.


Wikipedia: Algonquin Hotel
The Algonquin Hotel is a historic hotel located at 59 West 44th Street in Manhattan (New York, New York). The hotel has been designated as a New York City Historic Landmark.

The 174-room hotel, opened in 1902, was originally conceived as a residential hotel but was quickly converted to a traditional lodging establishment. Its first owner-manager, Frank Case (who bought the hotel in 1927), established many of the hotel’s traditions. Perhaps its best-known tradition is hosting literary and theatrical notables, most prominently the members of the Algonquin Round Table. 
(...)
Although the Algonquin was “dry” even before Prohibition (Case closed the hotel bar in 1917 and had harsh words for those who ran speakeasies), nevertheless the hotel does have an eponymous cocktail, composed of rye whiskey, Noilly Prat and pineapple juice. More recently, a newer drink has hit the Algonquin’s menu, the “Martini on the Rock,” consisting of a martini of the buyer’s choice with a single piece of “ice,” a diamond, at the bottom of the glass.

Google Books
Standard Encyclopedia of the Alcohol Problem
By Ernest Hurst Cherrington
Published by American Issue Publishing Company
1925
Item notes: v.1
Pg. 145:
ALGONQUIN COCKTAIL. A beverage composed on wormword and Holland gin.

New York (NY) Times
A POLITICAL PARTY; Oases for the Politics-Parched Soul
By WILLIAM GRIMES
Published: July 10, 1992
(...)
Hearts broke when the tiny Blue Bar at the Algonquin Hotel (59 West 44th Street) was turned into an executive office, the saddest transformation since the Oak Bar at the Plaza became a brokerage office during Prohibition. The new Blue Bar, now reached through a door on the west side of the lobby, offers a measure of consolation. The tiny illuminated sign above the entrance still sends out potent vibes, and the new room, hushed and soothing, makes a civilized pit stop. The space, although larger than the old bar, is still fairly intimate, the decor no great shakes: tufted red-leather banquettes, rather cheesy-looking dark wooden tables that are the right size for tete-a-tetes.

The mixed drinks, which begin at $6, are standard issue, although the hotel has revived the classic Algonquin cocktail (whisky, dry vermouth and pineapple juice run through the blender with ice). Draft beer begins at $4. The free munch bowl looked like a Chex Party Mix gone terribly wrong, with stale Fritos and Cheetos artfully woven through a pile of little pretzels.

But who goes to the Algonquin for the food, the service or the skillfully mixed drinks? No one. The atmosphere is the thing, and the hotel still has it in spades. And the new Blue Bar can offer one bonus over the old: to reach it, you have to cross the lobby.

Smoke Signals
The Algonquin Cocktail
* 2 ounces rye whiskey
* 1 ounce dry vermouth
* 1 ounce pineapple juice

Shake with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.

The Algonquin cocktail was named after The Algonquin Hotel in New York City. The hotel opened in 1902. Frank Case was the first Owner / Manager. He bought the hotel in 1927. I’m not sure why a drink was named after a hotel that was notoriously “dry”, even before Prohibition. Frank Case closed the bar in 1917 while Manager.

Since then, the hotel has had a multi-million dollar face lift and a new bar was opened in the early 1990’s. It’s called The Blue Bar. Don’t forget to order the Diamond Martini, at $10,000 rest assured that piece of “ice” at the bottom of your cocktail glass is not frozen water !
November 10, 2007 - Posted by cigarsmokingman

New York (NY) Sun
Looking at New York’s Liquid Past
By ROBERT SIMONSON | September 10, 2008
(...)
Algonquin Hotel
59 W. 44th St., between Fifth and Sixth avenues, 212-840-6800

Walk down Sixth Avenue to 44th Street and turn right. Inside, the Algonquin doesn’t look much like it did when such famous lushes as Dorothy Parker and Robert Benchley made it their second home. But it’s a survivor. They serve a drink called the Algonquin Cocktail, consisting of whiskey, dry vermouth, and pineapple juice. (Not my cup of tea, but hey — the cocktail’s more than 60 years old, so it must be popular with someone.)

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Wednesday, September 10, 2008 • Permalink