Whence Pequots?

1911, Beverages de Luxe: “A Pequot Fizz,” gin fizz with some egg white, and “A Pequot Deluxe,” blended spirits with egg, cream, sugar. From the St Charles Hotel, attributed by some to Henry Ramos.

1917, Tom Bullock: “Pequot Semer,” fruity gin fizz.

Puzzling how a nearly eliminated native tribe from the Connecticut area lends its name to these drinks. Pequot was used as a ship’s name a few times….

What’s the connection here?

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I suspect that they took their name from the “Pequot Colony,” which formed around the Pequot House hotel in the late 19th century and was one of America’s premiere rich-people summer resorts. It was very popular with New Orleaninans seeking to escape the summer heat (there was a lot of back-and-forth sea traffic between Connecticut and New Orleans). Also with folks such as U.S. Grant, Chester Arthur and various Supreme Court justices–and Eugene O’Neill’s family, who had a big house right there (see Long Day’s Journey into Night). Anyway, for a while there “Pequot” was synonymous with “cool” (in both senses of the word). I wonder if Bullock’s drink was actually “Pequot Summer.”


I had never heard of the Pequot Colony, so I just looked it up, which led to feeling like an idiot, because I’ve been there. Many years ago, I attended a wedding function at the Lighthouse Inn.

Here’s a historical summary of the Colony.


Same–years ago we went and toured Monte Cristo, the O’Neill house, which is still standing. Two blocks from the site of the Pequot House, which ended its run in 1924.

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