It's a bizarrely complicated tale, and just uncovering the real story was sort of a step-by-step drama in itself, running down leads and discovering many missteps, bad assumptions, and downright wrongness in so many previous accounts of the drink's history.
As I was working on the draft, it kept getting more and more complicated, and I kept having to go back and change details and elaborate as I dug up more information. In the end, the narrative became so long and complicated that I don't think anyone but a few hard-core cocktail buffs would be interested in reading it. I'm trimming it way back and totally recasting it in the book draft, but, in case you are one of those hard-core cocktail buffs, I figured I might go ahead and publish the whole unexpurgated story here on my blog. I've created it as a separate page that you can read here.
Yes, it's long and detailed, but there are a lot of curious twist and turns in it that I found just fascinating. And it made me quite thirsty, too.