Born in 1899 in the vibrant city of New Orleans, Walter Bergeron is cemented as one of the most iconic bartenders to ever come out of The Big Easy. His fascinating story begins when he was an apprentice at the historic Sazerac Coffee House on Bourbon Street – where he began experimenting with a variety of spirits in order to develop new cocktails.
It was here that Walter created one of his most celebrated recipes: a refreshing blend of crushed mint leaves, dark crème de cacao, simple syrup and vodka or brandy - which soon started gathering attention among locals who frequented the cafe. So much so that soon enough it earned its own signature glass cup – with ridges specially designed around the base to mimic eddies as seen through a microscope (a reference to Walter being fondly known as “The Grasshopper” due to his wiry frame).
With his fame growing, Walter sought bigger opportunities and eventually moved over to The Roosevelt Hotel where he served as head bartender for three decades before retiring in 1973. It was here that he truly made his mark on history by inventing the Vieux Carre Cocktail – combining cognac, rye whiskey, vermouth, Benedictine and bitters for an exquisite flavor like nothing else found before it at the time.