Waldorf Astoria, New York 1940s
The four-leaf clover (as opposed to the common three-leaf clover) is a traditional sign of good luck, popular in many countries around the world.
This image was on a drinks list at the iconic Waldorf Astoria Hotel in midtown Manhattan and probably celebrated St Patrick’s Day which takes place on March 17 each year and is much celebrated among the Irish diaspora in the United States.
This may be a tall story and it's impossible to verify, but it’s said there are more four-leaf clovers in Ireland than any other country in the world, leading to the phrase ‘the luck of the Irish.’
When it was completed in 1931, the Waldorf Astoria Hotel became a famous Art Deco landmark in New York City. A byword for luxury and sophistication, it attracted so many high-profile guests that author Ward Morehouse III described it as ‘a kind of vertical Beverly Hills.’
Marilyn Monroe and her husband Arthur Miller lived at the hotel in the 1950s while the actress was filming The Seven Year Itch. Composer and songwriter Cole Porter had a six-bedroom apartment there until his death in 1954 – his piano remains at the hotel. Frank Sinatra paid nearly $1 million a year to keep a suite at the hotel from 1979 till 1988.
In the 1930s, gangster Bugsy Siegel also owned an apartment at the Waldorf and other stars such as Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Judy Garland and Muhammad Ali were regular guests.
We think this drinks list is from the late 1930s or early 40s – note that it features the Waldorf’s own private labels of rum, gin, bourbon and whisky. It was overlaid with good luck messages, possibly to a soldier going off to WWII.
The legendary hotel closed its doors for renovations in 2017 and was due to be back this year with 375 hotel rooms and 375 luxury condos. The pandemic has put a break on those plans.
Courtesy Private Collection.
Each order includes a print of the interior menu.