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Food Activist and Cocktail Culturalist

A Day in the Life of a Cocktail
What to Drink and When to Drink It.


Michael Turback was among the first to embrace concepts of farm-to-table and vineyard-to-table at his restaurant, Turback’s of Ithaca – an achievement recognized nationally.  He not only created and nurtured one of the region’s first destination restaurants, he built a reputation around his ability to stalk, procure, and support the best of local food and wine.  The Los Angeles Times called Turback’s, “the first Finger Lakes restaurant to really devote itself to New York’s culinary and enological bounty.”

Turback was trained as a restaurateur at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration.  His restaurant’s mission combined inventiveness, passionate cooking with local ingredients, and the novel concept of a wine list with exclusively New York State products.  He pioneered concepts at Turback’s that sparked trends that are seen throughout the restaurant industry today.  His loyalty to small local farmers and use of seasonal local produce helped to popularize American regional dining.  Wine tasting events and wine dinners inspired interest in a new generation of regional wines.  Cocktail programs developed in his establishments have influenced the beverage business for over three decades.

On your next visit to Paris – just tell the taxi driver, “Sank Roo Doe Noo.”  Following those directions you will arrive at 5 Rue Daunou, between the Avenue de l’Opéra and the Rue de la Paix.  You’re at Harry’s New York Bar, a saloon that became the central gathering place for the most notable people of 1920s Paris.   

The Twenties were roaring, and Paris offered an intellectual and social scene for Americans weary from the effects of Prohibition.  During that period, life in Paris was being described as “a wet suburb of a dry New York,” and the goings-on at Harry’s place were regularly covered by Sparrow Robertson in The Paris Herald Tribune.  It was a watering hole now teeming with expats in search of a drink, and on the mahogany bar rested some of the most distinguished elbows anywhere. Jack Dempsey, Primo Carnera, Sinclair Lewis, Damon Runyon, William Faulkner, Knute Rockne, and a host of other celebrities found their way to Harry’s. Young F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda had a favorite booth in the rear.  Gertrude Stein and Sherwood Anderson swapped stories with Ernest Hemingway.  George Gershwin composed “An American in Paris” on an upright piano in the cellar beneath the bar.

Harry’s lives on, still an essential rendezvous for Americans who visit Paris. The current drinkmaker-in-charge, Laurent Giraud, has graciously added a copy of Turback’s A Day in the Life of a Cocktail to the glass case at the end of the mahogany bar.

THE Books


Bartender's Handshake

Cocktails at Dinner

My Books


All the Gin Joints

What a Swell Party It Was

A Path of Life

More Info

Bartender's Handshake

More Info

Cocktails at Dinner

More Info

The Timeless Martini

The Bible of Bubbly

A Dash of Bitters


Nick and Nora

Mixology and Mythology

Out of Those Wet Clothes and Into a Dry Martini

Hanky Panky

Signature Cocktails

Regrettable Cocktails

Daiquiri Time Out


Ithaca Farmers Market: A Seasonal Guide and Cookbook


For Publicity Requests related to the latest release, including interview requests:

Alyssa Griffin
Globe Pequot – a division of Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group

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