Global bartending icon, author and educator Gary ‘gaz’ Regan has died after a bout of pneumonia during his most recent battle with cancer.
Regan passed away on Friday, 15 November at Newburgh Hospital in New York and his wife Amy has said the details about a memorial service will be forthcoming.
In a Facebook post, Amy said: “I’m sorry to say that Gaz passed away last night after a bout with pneumonia. He died peacefully and believed that his soul lived on. I miss him already. Sending love to all.”
Gaz is widely credited with sparking the global bartending revival and his book 101 Best New Cocktails is a book that bartenders across the world have looked forward to being published every year.
In addition gaz wrote The Joy of Mixology in 2003, the Bartender’s GIN Compendium in 2009, and The Cocktailian Chronicles: The Professor Years, Volume 1, was published in June, 2010. Three editions of gaz Regan’s Annual Manual for Bartenders have been published since 2011.
Gaz’s first book, The Bartender’s Bible, was published in 1991, and between 1995 and 1998, together with Mardee Haidin Regan, he co-wrote The Book of Bourbon and Other Fine American Whiskey, The Bourbon Companion, New Classic Cocktails, and The Martini Companion.
Gaz also conducted Cocktails in the Country, a series of two-day bartender workshops, at Painter’s Tavern in Cornwall on Hudson, New York. He trained bartenders from top cocktail bars in New York, London, Los Angeles, San Francisco and many other major cities across the globe.
As well as his writing and educating gaz was also created Regan’s Orange Bitters No. 6 and is credited with creating a huge amount of cocktails. His signature move became stirring Negronis with his finger. The move came after he had to stir Negronis for 20 people and to speed up the process he used his finger and the crowd loved it. It is now possible to by a stainless steel stirrer which is a life-size cast of gaz’s finger.
Regan also collected many awards during his career including a Lifetime Achievement Award at Tales of the Cocktails’ Spirited Awards in 2012. He is survived by his wife of 11 years, Amy Gallagher; rest in peace gaz.