New York’s oldest bartender, and the Algonquin Cocktail

Hoy Wong, of New York’s famous Algonquin Hotel, has been behind the stick for a good while now.

Marilyn Monroe came Wednesdays for lunch and ordered a Beefeater martini, very dry. Danny Kaye pulled his jacket over his head to avoid being recognized. Judy Garland sat in a corner drinking Johnnie Walker Red.

“Judy Garland, very sad,” said Hoy Wong, who is about to be feted by his employer of 27 years, the Algonquin Hotel, on the occasion of his 90th birthday. “She always had a cocktail glass in her hand.”

Wong, or Mr. Hoy, as he is known, has been working as a bartender for 58 years. Unless another candidate steps forward, his bosses seem safe in calling him the city’s oldest bartender.

“He never misses a day,” said Bill Liles, the Algonquin’s general manager. “If the weather’s bad he shows up early. It’s just really an honor to work with someone like Mr. Hoy.”

I so, so want to visit Mr. Hoy and have him make me a Martini! OK all youse New Yorkers out there … go pay the man your respects, and please tell him I said happy birthday.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Hoy!

In honor of Mr. Hoy Wong, we present a cocktail named for the venerable hotel where he plies his trade, and the “Round Table” of people like Dorothy Parker, Roberty Benchley and Noel Coward who used to hang out there. Better still, it’s a rye cocktail, and as Wes is fond of saying, what the world needs now is more rye cocktails.

The Algonquin Cocktail

1-1/2 ounces straight rye whiskey.
3/4 ounce pineapple juice.
3/4 ounce dry vermouth.

Combine with ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds.
Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish optional, your call.


One Response to “New York’s oldest bartender, and the Algonquin Cocktail”

  1. Charles nicholson said:

    Dec 06, 13 at 8:19 pm

    Can you tell me when Hoy Wong, Bartender at the Algonquin Hotel Bar died..Thx