The Ritz Enigma, the Forgotten Story of Bartender Frank Meier

The Bold Traveler


Frank Meier, a young Austrian Jew, left Europe at the beginning of the 20th century in search of a new life. His journey took him to New York, where his talent for the art of cocktails quickly thrust him into the spotlight. Bold and creative, his original creations caught the eye of many and he landed a prestigious bartender position at the Hoffman House Hotel. There, he honed his craft and built a reputation as an innovator in the world of cocktails.

In 1921, Meier decided to return to Europe and was hired at the Ritz Paris, located on Place Vendôme. There, he created the Hemingway bar, becoming an iconic figure of the 1930s. A few years later, he published “The Artistry Of Mixing Drinks”, a work that would become a bible for cocktail enthusiasts. Meier embodied elegance and diplomacy, believing that “A good bartender must truly possess all the qualities of a diplomat and something more.”

“To be a bartender is to be a chemist and a psychologist”Frank Meier


War and Resistance

When Paris is occupied by the Germans in June 1940, the Ritz, thanks to the Swiss nationality of its owner and staff, escapes requisition. Hermann Goering occupies the Imperial Suite, transforming the hotel into a place frequented by high-ranking Nazis. Despite his Jewish heritage and foreign status, Frank Meier remains in his position as a bartender at the Ritz.

Under the noses of German officers, Meier becomes a discreet hero of the Resistance. Using his privileged position, he serves as a “sleeping mailbox” between French and Allied resistance networks. He also provides false papers to Jews seeking to escape the occupied zone. It is said that documents related to Operation Valkyrie, the attempted assassination of Hitler by German officers, passed through his hands. Meier acts with incredible boldness, risking his own life to save others.

The Mystery of his Disappearance

At the end of the war, Frank Meier mysteriously disappears, leaving behind a legend of courage and dedication. Archives do not reveal his fate after the Liberation. According to some unverified sources, he may have died in 1947 and was buried with his wife and only son in the cemetery of Pantin.

Philippe Collin

offers a unique and immersive novel, evoking a chapter of French history through the extraordinary destiny of Frank Meier, who managed to avoid the worst despite his arrest at the end of the war. This poignant and emotionally rich narrative deserves to be discovered.

Tells the captivating story of Frank Meier, head bartender at the prestigious Ritz hotel in Paris during the German occupation. Frank, an Austrian Ashkenazi Jew and veteran of World War I, finds himself mixing cocktails for Nazi dignitaries, including Hermann Göring, after the invasion of Paris in June 1940.

In this atmosphere of suspicion where everyone fears for their lives, Frank navigates among collaborators, resistors, celebrities, and shady characters frequenting the Ritz. Among his clients are Arletty, Jean Cocteau, Coco Chanel, Sacha Guitry, and Ernst Jünger. Despite the constant danger of being denounced and deported because of his heritage, Frank practices his art with discretion and skill.

The novel, an intense closed-door story, reveals betrayals, manipulations, cowardice, and impossible loves of this dark period. Through Frank’s diary, we discover his thoughts consumed by Blanche Auzello, a fascinating but unattainable woman, for whom he trembles for many months.

The Bartender of the Ritz immerses the reader in the unique atmosphere of this hotel on Place Vendôme, revealing secrets, rooms, and hidden passages. Even knowing the happy ending of the story, readers are drawn in by the confidences of various characters, especially Sacha Guitry, who confide in Frank.

gathered by Nathalie Baylaucq


The Bartender of the Ritz by Philippe Collin





The Art of Cocktailing

Frank Meier
Illustrator: Delius
Foreword by: Philippe Collin

For the first time in French, the “bible” of mixology from the legendary Ritz bartender.

This guide, published for the first time in French, is a reference.

A true bible of mixology, it reveals the secrets of making over 300 cocktails, including Meier’s own creations, which he served to Roosevelt, Hemingway, or Cole Porter. It is also a delightful manual of etiquette, offering advice on snake bites or horse racing bets… Essential

Today, the Ritz Bar reinvents the Art of Cocktailing with a Biodynamic Menu under the Direction of Romain de Courcy.


Romain de Courcy explains to us that each cocktail focuses on a unique ingredient explored in all its facets, using perfumery techniques and innovations such as clarification, carbonation, and sublimation to achieve extreme precision. The creations, evolving with the seasons, harmonize with natural cycles and follow a virtuous approach. Exotic ingredients in essential oils and local products are delivered in large reusable containers to minimize waste. The menu is presented as a biodynamic calendar, where customers can choose their cocktails based on their favorite astrological sign or natural element. For example, ginger, associated with earth constellations, and petitgrain, linked to water constellations, demonstrate the aromatic richness and complexity achieved through various extraction and preparation methods.






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