You wouldn’t know it by his body of work, but cocktail godfather Gary Regan began his career in the pubs of northwest England. Clearly meant for boozier shores, Regan fled to New York in 1973 at just 22 years old, working in a variety of neighborhood joints, lowly dives, Brit-type pubs, and just one cocktail-themed bar, Unisphere Cocktail Lounge.
With 20 years behind the bar, Regan, aka “Gaz,” became best known for his way with words. He started writing about the “three B’s”—booze, bars, and bartenders—in 1990 with his first book, The Bartender’s Bible, and simultaneously landed a column in Food Arts Magazine. To date, he has written and co-written nine books, including The Book of Bourbon (with Mardee Haidin Regan) and The Joy of Mixology. And the most recent iteration of his yearly Gaz Regan’s Annual Manual for Bartenders was released in April 2012.
Regan’s not bound to binding; he publishes three weekly newsletters—Gaz Regan’s Bartender Bulletin, Weekly Shooter, and eLetter—and his column, The Cocktailian, runs (almost) every other week in The San Francisco Chronicle. An established authority, Regan also helps judge the annual Gin Connoisseurs Program for G’Vine gin each June, and joins famed fellow bartenders Salvatore Calabrese, Peter Dorelli, Dale DeGroff, and Hidetsugu Ueno to judge Diageo’s World Class bartender competition every July. Regan also hosts an annual road show of Pioneers of Mixology for Pernod-Ricard, all while maintaining yet another outlet for his cocktailian conceits: GazRegan.com.