Your cart
Manhattan Cocktail Napkin 1930s
Move your mouse over image or click to enlarge
Manhattan Cocktail Napkin 1930s Manhattan Cocktail Napkin 1940s

Manhattan Cocktail Napkin 1930s


This 1930s image, taken from a cocktail napkin, is a perfect example of the creative mastery of vintage menu and restaurant accessory artists. The illustration shows Manhattan and its skyscrapers in a glass. Perfect for a city like New York that loves its booze.

Cocktail napkins, matchbooks, menus and table-toppers were all used as marketing tools for restaurants and bars.

This image may have a double meaning – it probably also represents the Manhattan cocktail made with whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters, strained over ice and served in a chilled glass.

The origin of the drink, named after the area in which it was served, goes back to the 1860s. Some historians believe it was invented by a bartender who worked in a bar on Broadway, near Houston Street. Another theory is that the drink originated at the Manhattan Club a decade later, created in honor of the Governor of New York and Presidential candidate Samuel J Tilden. The drink is mentioned in the bar book The Flowing Bowl, published in 1891.

The Manhattan-in-a-glass image came with no identifying marks of any restaurant or bar and we are still hoping to unearth more information about it. 

Courtesy Private Collection.

We make our prints with archival-quality fine art paper, using professional pigment inks. Properly framed or stored, our prints will last 70+ years without fading or discolouring.

All our prints up to A2 size are made in-house in the UK. For larger prints, we work with the best commercial giclée printers in the UK. Learn more about our printing process, borders and custom orders here.