Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

beans

Cocktail Books: The Topic

Recommended Posts

Okay, the cooking forum has one! :biggrin:

Some books are fluff and not much more than a coffee table, pretty and glossy dust collector. Not that those do not have their own valued or deserved place within one's collection(s)... they do! Other books are fantastic resources for both the home mixologist and professional barkeep. Hence, all the above were inspiration to get the thread a'rollin.

Another part of this came from the *glee* I felt yesterday when I unearthed the 1993 edition of a book I loaned out in 1996! It is 501 Questions Every Bartender Should Know How to Answer, a Unique Look at the Bar Business by Robert Plotkin. It was purchased directly from the man himself at the Vegas Bar Show. While I eagerly reopen it to read once again, I do realise that perhaps some of the info may be dated.... Meh. What's not to enjoy with sections on product knowledge (liquors, liqueurs, beers and wines), mixology (who, what, why, etc.), "Alcohol IQ," questions for seasoned pros and then on-premise bartending tests for entry, intermediate and advanced levels. Mmmm. Good stuff.

Another recommendation is Champagne Cocktails, Including recipes, quotes, lore, and a directory of the world's poshes lounges by Anistatia Miller, Jared Brown and Don Gatterdam (1999).

It even includes food preparations and recipes, such as Champagne Fondue, Steak au Champagne and Champagne Zabaglione.

"Fizziology"

I know there are a bunch of recommendations throught the 360+ threads here on the cocktail forum, and a I have a few myself, but which books are your faves?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still use the list of drinks from NSM's infamous cocktail parties! I bought the 'Boston' guide in 1978 and never used it very much. I drag out Dale De Groff's 'Craft of the Cocktail' each weekend and look for something new to try. The photos inspire me and we've tried some new and very good drinks thanks to this book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think there's something to be said for any book that inspires one. For me, it was Paul Harrington's Cocktail: The Drinks Bible for the 21st Century. It wasn't the first cocktail book I owned, and, objectively speaking, it may not be the best, but it was what really got me started making new drinks. It holds a special place on my shelves because of that.

Since then, I've been inspired by others, including Gary and Mardee's New Classic Cocktails, and more recently, Gary's Joy of Mixology. I especially love the charts in Gary's book, which categorize drinks by "family."

De Groff's book is wonderful, but I'm sorry to say that I just haven't been personally touched by it in the same way. (Am I totally twisted in admitting that I've been personally touched by cocktail books?) Maybe if it had been the first "serious" cocktail book I owned, it would hold that place for me.

And I have to say that ever since I heard that Doc has a forthcoming book, I'm dying to get it when it comes out. And I'm not just saying that because he's going to read this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No wait, Janet -- don't worry I promise not to read your post just to keep things on the up-and-up, ok?

Perfect.

Actually, since I started this interest, really, in the late 60s -- and none of the revival books would appear for another 20 years -- MY first book was Patrick Gavin Duffy's Official Mixer's Manual, a 1948 Permabook reprint of the 1934 original. No purty pictures, just recipes and commentary that seemed SOOO alien to me - and yet so redolent of the society movies of the 1930s. I STUDIED that book. I pored over it. It informed the tosspot I was yet to become!

Again, --Doc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MY first book was Patrick Gavin Duffy's Official Mixer's Manual, a 1948 Permabook reprint of the 1934 original.

That's funny--that was my first cocktail book, too, only mine was the cheap Pocket Books version, revised by James Beard, and the year was around 1980. I've still got it, somewhere, dog-ears, ring-stains and all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah? I remember that edition too. Beard lent just that microscopic air of modernity to the book before it finally simply collapsed under the weight of all those cobwebs.

Remember Permabooks? They took a cheap paperback sans cover and slapped a paper-covered thick cardboard cover over it. Presto! It's a hardback!

--Doc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By now, we of course all have a copy of Gary's "The Joy of Mixology", but there are of countless other books out there worth picking up, some old, some new. The old books are of course often the hardest to find, our salvation comes when somebody chooses to do a reprint of one of the old favorites, or better yet, when they do a faithful facimile edition.

The oldest book of bartender recipes is Jerry Thomas's 1862 "Bar Tenders Guide or How To Mix Drinks". While this book was reprinted several times, to the best of my knowledge a facimile reprint was never available... until now.

I just noticed that New Day Publishing is offering copies of this on their site, along with "The Stork Club Bar Book", and "The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book".

http://www.oldwaldorfastoriabarbook.com

I've already picked up copies of the other two books, and was quite happy with the quality and faithfulness of the reproduction. So I've just now ordered several copies of JT's book.

(Note: Their site is doing some strange things with frames which will cause problems for IE users who try to place an order. To avoid this problem you should use this link for placing an order via PayPal: http://www.oldwaldorfastoriabarbook.com/pages/5/page5.html)

I am not in any way associated with New Day Publishing, I am just passing this information on because I think the opportunity to get a facimile copy of JT's book is not something to pass up.

-Robert

[Edited to fix ordering link]


Edited by DrinkBoy (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MY first book was Patrick Gavin Duffy's Official Mixer's Manual, a 1948 Permabook reprint of the 1934 original.

That's funny--that was my first cocktail book, too, only mine was the cheap Pocket Books version, revised by James Beard, and the year was around 1980. I've still got it, somewhere, dog-ears, ring-stains and all.

mine as well except my copy is edited by Robert Jay Milch. I think I got it about 25 years ago. Some one gave an early edition of "Mr. Boston's" to me a while back that I enjoy just b/c of some of the cocktail receipts & illustrations are, to put it best, quaint.

I also appreciate getting books about the history of cocktails as opposed to just cocktail receipts. There are several on martinis and whisk(e)y that I thoroughly enjoy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think there's something to be said for any book that inspires one. For me, it was Paul Harrington's Cocktail: The Drinks Bible for the 21st Century. It wasn't the first cocktail book I owned, and, objectively speaking, it may not be the best, but it was what really got me started making new drinks. It holds a special place on my shelves because of that.

I couldn't agree more. There are many superb cocktail books on the market, but Paul Harrington's Cocktail: The Drinks Bible for the 21st Century holds a special place in my heart for being such a stylish and beautifully written volume. I'll never understand why it went out of print.

What is Paul Harrington up to these days?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Paul Harringon and "Cocktail: The Drinks Bible of the 21st Century"

Viking Press, the folks who published this book, only published 10,000 copies, and didn't publisize it AT ALL. They also didn't see any reason to publish additional copies, once the first 10,000 were sold (which happened relatively quicky). They just didn't understand what they had. Paul has been trying to locate a new publisher.

These days, Paul lives in Eastern Washington, and is currently working as an Architect, with only a partial connection to bartending.

-Robert

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, bless him. He's raking it in as an architect, and that's good.

STILL.....I hope he doesn't abandon his hunt for a new pubisher. In a just universe, that book would be in its third printing by now. (Besides which, it's a nice gift, and I'm sick of buying it from used-book sellers at quadrupel the price!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gary Reagans Joy of Mixology -- I don't open the others anymore, and might send them to the Goodwill.

However...

There was a slim 2-volume, slip-cased book set my parents had that I could not find when I packed up their house. It was (I think) circa 1920, and definitely Brittish. Anyway, volume 1 was on "Cookery" (mostly curries, and definitely colonial India) and volume 2 was on mixology.

It had useful instructions in it like, "Have your manservant shake the beaker exactly 19 times..." and so on. It was a riot.

Has anyone else ever seen one of these sets or know the name?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There was a slim 2-volume, slip-cased book set ... circa 1920 ... volume 1 was on "Cookery" ... volume 2 was on mixology...

Has anyone else ever seen one of these sets or know the name?

You are thinking of "The Gentleman's Companion" a set of books written by Charles H. Baker "Volume I Being an Exotic Cookery Book", "Volume II Being an Exotic Drinking Book".

This is a -wonderful- book, and you can often find it for sale on eBay. But another option would be to buy the newly (2001) reprinted version of this book. Going by the name "Jigger, Beaker, and Glass : Drinking Around the World"

Here is a link to it on amazon: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1586670506

They also have the cooking volume, titled "Knife, Fork, and Spoon : Eating Around the World"

Mr. Baker also wrote a companion to the companion called "South American Gentlemans Companion", two books, slipcased, but "blue" instead of "red".

-Robert

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try David Embury's The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks. It's a great guide to understanding how a great drink is crafted. although out of print now, you can still find copies online.

I also enjoy Maria Costantino's The Cocktail Handbook. There is a picture of every drink in the book, which is sometimes all the inspiration I need.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Admin: Topics merged

My apologies if a similar thread is buried somewhere (I couldn't seem to find it), but the thread on Dr. Cocktail's book started me thinking about my own collection of cocktail books.

Here are my favorites; I'm curious as to what I'm missing:

...in no particular order...

The Craft of the Cocktail, Dale DeGroff

Mixologist: the Journal of the American Cocktail

Straight Up or on the Rocks, William Grimes

Cocktail, Paul Harrington

Esquire Drinks, David Wondrich

Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, Ted Haigh

Jigger, Beaker and Glass, Charles Baker Jr.

I also just purchased:

The Stork Club Bar Book, Lucius Beebe

The Bartender's Guide, Jerry Thomas

The Joy of Mixology, Gary Regan

So, what "must haves" are I missing?

Marty

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a pretty impressive list.

The only ones I can think of to add are The Savoy Cocktail and the Old Waldorf Bar book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So, what "must haves" are I missing?

You're definitely missing The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks by David A. Embury. I wouldn't pay the $200+ that most online vendors seem to want for it, however.

There's something to be said for the Bartender's Guide by Trader Vic, and Tom Bullock's The Ideal Bartender is, most fortuitously, available from Project Gutenberg.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You've listed most of my favorites--I echo the need for Embury in your collection (some persistent digging at used book stores can still turn up affordable copies), and Trader Vic's Bartender's Guide and Book of Food and Drink are also nice to have around.

On the "must have" list, I'd include:

* Old Waldorf Bar Days, by Albert Stevens Crockett (as mentioned by J_Ozzy) - an invaluable glimpse into the world of drinking in what was one of the world's greatest pre-Prohibition bars

* Esquire's Handbook for Hosts (1949 edition) - enjoying the best of bachelor life in the post-War years

* Bottoms Up, by Ted Saucier - ok, maybe not a 'must have,' but an impressive collection of drink recipes from 1951; a nice snapshot of cocktail history.

* South American Gentleman's Companion - Charles Baker's companion set to his original, which contained Jigger, Beaker and Glass

* David Wondrich's Killer Cocktails - aside from Dr. Cocktail's book, the best drink-related thing to come out of 2004

While not 'must haves,' other books they'll have to pry out of my hands once I've gone to that great saloon in the sky include:

* On Drink, Kingsley Amis

* "Cocktail Bill" Boothby's World Drinks and How to Mix 'Em

* Bernard DeVoto's The Hour - perhaps the greatest (and most opinionated) treatise ever written on the significance of the cocktail hour and the dignity of drinking.

That said, if you've got the books by Wondrich, Grimes, Thomas & Haigh, you're off to an excellent start--

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to second a selection from the first post, I must say that Regan's "The Joy of Mixology" is one of my personal favorites. I especially appreciate the charts that show which "family" a drink belongs to. The format is informative and engaging, and I plan to buy several more copies to use as gifts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those are all fine, serious books.

How about the other side of cocktail culture.

Maybe a tiki book or two? Something by Jeff Berry?

-Erik

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Something by Jeff Berry?

-Erik

I'd never thought of the Grand Wizard on the American Knights of the KKK as a mixologist !!

But perhaps its a different Jeff Berry ?

Gethin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What about The Cocktails of the Ritz Paris by Colin Peter Field?

This is a little gem of a book, which contains information about "the psychology of mixing drinks." Here are some things to ponder before making a cocktail:

"Before you set out to make a cocktail, you should ask yourself several questions:

1. Who is the person that I am making this cocktail for?

2. What are they celebrating?

3. What's their objective in having this cocktail?

4. What's my objective as the creator of this cocktail?"

Copyright © 2003 by Editions du Chêne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i'm surprised noone mentioned "just cocktails" and "here's how" both by w.c. whitfield at three mountaineers press. both published after repeal of prohibition, both out of print, but fairly common in good shape as they were bound in wood.

very fun books

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By Kitchenista
      At this time of year when you can hoard fresh, local strawberries because they are so abundant, why not freeze them and enjoy them all year long. Then you won't have to buy tasteless, fake looking ones in the dead of winter!

      The best way to preserve them, sugar-free, and have them fresh, year-round is to freeze them. Remember to start with the freshest strawberries possible. Strawberries start to lose freshness and nutrients quickly and will only last a few days in the fridge, so the sooner you freeze them the better. Follow these steps and they will last up to a year in the freezer:
      1. Gently wash them and pat them dry or allow them to air dry for an hour or so. Slice off the tops, including the stem and any white area, then cut them in half lengthwise.
      2. Line one or more rimmed baking sheets (depending on how many berries you have) with parchment or SilPats. Arrange them in a single layer on the sheets. and place them, uncovered, or loosely covered with plastic wrap in the freezer. Allow them to freeze solid, about 12 hours. Once frozen, transfer the berries (they may stick to the parchment a bit, but peel off relatively easy) to a freezer weight plastic zipper bag. Press out as much of the air from the bag as possible before sealing, to minimize freezer burn over time. If you are planning to leave them in the freezer for months, then consider double bagging them. Place the bagged berries in the freezer, where they will keep for up to one year.
      Note: I will warn you that the thawed berries will not be firm and bright like they were when raw and fresh. They tend to thaw out a bit mushier, and slightly darker…but can still be used for anything you would use fresh strawberries for. For smoothies, use frozen.
      Optional: Brushing the berries with a bit of lemon juice before you freeze them will help to preserve their color. While strawberries can be frozen whole, cut or crushed, they will retain a higher level of their vitamin C content if left whole.
    • By boilsover
      My Breville BSO 800XL  just died on it's second birthday, after only *extremely* light use at my beach house.  Just won't power up.
       
      Reading online, I learned that a common failure mode is the thermal fuse blowing -WHICH IS DESIGNED TO BLOW AT <450F.  This is a $3 part at Radio Shack, and there is a detailed instruction on how to replace it here:  http://virantha.com/2014/03/02/fix-your-breville-smart-oven-by-replacing-the-thermal-fuse/
       
      So I guess I'll give fixing it myself a try and report back.  Has anyone here done this repair?  Was it successful?  And why would Breville use a fuse that is lower than the appliance's top heat settings?
       
      Thanks!
    • By Franzisaurus_Rex
      I've had an idea flowing across my brain waves over the last few months. It's on every channel and I'm getting ready to pull the trigger. 
      I'd like to try to braise a dish in my smoker. I am thinking of braising a rabbit, but the I'm not looking for guidance on the protein/ingredients, rather the technique. I turn to you, o internet, in hope you will tell me your secrets.
      Has anyone ever braised in their smoker before? I've done some research, but I haven't seen much on the "how to" for the technique. Here's my plan:
      - Brown the rabbits on skillet (stovetop)
      - Get the aromatics/other stuffz sweated browned, etc.
      - (MEANWHILE) Smoker heats up to 300-325 degrees.
      - Add stock to rabbit, bring to a simmer on the stove top.
      - Transfer to smoker, braise uncovered for 1-2 hours, then cover with foil to finish for as long as necessary.
      I've seen folks smoke and then braise, but I haven't seen much on the idea of braising something IN the smoker. I saw something on CookingwithMe.at about doing something similar with pork belly, but that's about it.
      All I know is that after using stock+drippings from a smoked turkey created this CRAZY MIND-BLOWING flavor, so I'm basing this a lot off that idea.
      -Franz
    • By boilsover
      The 2017 iteration of the International Home & Housewares Show is being held March 18-21 at McCormick Place in Chicago.  This is the world's 2nd-largest tradeshow for the cookware and housewares industry, close behind Ambiente in Frankfurt.  It is a cornucopia of what's new and what's coming down the pike in the world of cookware, and if you've ever wondered about why makers do the things they do, this is your opportunity to talk with execs and their product development people (e.g., you can discuss ceramics with the 6th-gen owner of Emile Henry).  It takes an able cookware geek a full two days to cover all the booths.
       
      Are any eGulls or eGuys besides me attending? 
    • By chromedome
      I'm posting it here on the grounds that national Food Guides are, by their nature, intended to be used as references. 
       
      Many of you will have read today's news stories about the proposed changes to Canada's food guidelines. All of the stories I read mentioned that Health Canada was soliciting input from the general public, as well as health/food industry professionals. None of them, alas, actually gave a link to the "consultation" page at Health Canada's website. For those who wish to weigh in, here it is:
       
      http://www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/health-system-systeme-sante/consultations/foodguide-guidealimentaire/index-eng.php
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×