After being raised in British pubs, and being put to work as a bartender by his parents when he was just 14 years old, Gary Regan fled to New York City in 1973. For over two decades he tended bar at a variety of dives in Manhattan, and in 1990 he started to write about his favorite subjects--drinks and drinking. It wasn't long before he noticed that his work encouraged liquor companies to send him free bottles of booze. He quit the bar business immediately, started to write on a full-time basis, and in 1991 his first book, The Bartender’s Bible, was published.
Gary, together with Mardee Haidin Regan, his wife since 1979, started to focus on bourbon--their whiskey of choice. After an exhaustive period of research that involved visiting every distillery in Kentucky as many times as possible, picking up free samples on every visit, the Regans wrote The Book of Bourbon and Other Fine American Whiskey in 1995. Three years later, when their liquor cabinet started to run a little low, they wrote The Bourbon Companion.
Gary writes The Cocktailian, a bi-weekly column, for The San Francisco Chronicle. In the past he has written regular columns in The Malt Advocate, Nation's Restaurant News, Cheers Magazine, and The Wine Enthusiast, concentrating on cocktails, bartenders, and the cocktailian craft. His work is also published in magazines in the U.K., Australia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria.
Gary also conducted Cocktails in the Country, a series of two-day bartender workshops in New York, for seven years, and now he takes the show on the road, holding workshops in France, the U.K., and in various states in the USA.
Gary and Mardee host www.ardentspirits.com, publish a free e-mail newsletter, Ardent Spirits, and maintain a Worldwide Bartender Database that serves to put spirits companies in touch with their most important ambassadors: The men and women who hold forth from behind slabs of mahogany all over the globe.