I cannot guess the size of the Venn Diagram overlap of cocktail enthusiasts and codebreakers, but it’s safe to say it includes alcohol historians Jared Brown and Anistatia Miller.
One evening (it could have been afternoon) I was enjoying a drink (or two) at Comstock (that part is beyond dispute). In conversation with bartender Zach, I mentioned attending a talk that Jared Brown had given at Cafe du Nord in his capacity as a distiller of Sipsmith Gin.
“He’s stopped in here before, and he left a message in one of our books,” said Zach (who may have said something entirely different, but this is the gist). “Want to see it?”
Brown signed Shaken Not Stirred: A Celebration of the Martini (one of many books Comstock keeps handy at the bar) and left a breadcrumb: