We were so honored to host our friend Shanna Farrell last weekend for a talk and signing, celebrating the release of her new book, Bay Area Cocktails: A History of Culture, Community and Craft.
Writer and oral historian at U.C. Berkeley, Shanna moved to California from NYC a few years ago and has been a great supporter of the bartending community and Umami Mart. She began researching this book in 2014, interviewing industry professionals, writers and bartenders from New York and California.
Having read the book from cover to cover, the book is a thorough and special look into the influence that the Bay Area has had on cocktail culture throughout the United States. Did you know that the Mai Tai was invented in Oakland!?! Or that the importing of 100% pure agave tequila into the U.S. is thanks to the owner of a Mexican restaurant in the San Francisco? Or that Alice Waters played a major role in developing our cocktails as we know them today?
As a bartender herself, Shanna has a unique perspective of cocktail culture in the Bay Area. Her book is full of inspired anecdotes and nostalgia - while rooting itself in the present day. Following several influential bartenders and industry professionals, Shanna carefully constructs the history of the Bay Area cocktail culture and how it became to be what it is today.
We were lucky to have Shanna with us to discuss her book and findings through her interviews. She spoke for about an hour, and answered questions by guests. Then a book signing of course!
Shanna crowd-sourced her book project to cover photography costs. And hey, Umami Mart is on page 92! Thank you Shanna for including us in your incredible book! I know this was a labor of love so it means so much to us that you would include us in the rich history of Bay Area cocktail culture.
We could not be happier to see that the book has come to life. Congratulations, Shanna!