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Cocktail Books: The Topic


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Mud Puddle Books is releasing a number of out of print classic cocktail books with new introductions by some of the brightest stars in today's cocktail firmament...

This has been a fun project. I've been working with Greg/MudPuddle on both my upcoming book as well as various aspects of this collection of classic reprints. He's already got the "second wave" of books almost ready to go, it's pretty exciting that things came together so well to allow this to happen.

For Greg, this is a labor of love. He wanted to make sure the books were as high quality as possible, and as inexpensive as possible. He'll have many of these titles (but not all, since they aren't all yet back from the printers yet) at Tales of the Cocktail in July.

-Robert

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Wow.... I've been eager to get my hands on one of these for a while, and now I can choose a stack. I'm thinking of starting with Thomas, Craddock, and Embury, then I'll save up another benjamin for round two.

The Barflies & Cocktails book is actually by Harry McElhone, not Harry Craddock and I would highly recommend it. Much more interesting than the ABC of Mixing Cocktails and some nice pictures inside.

The Jerry Thomas book isn't out quite yet but is obviously very valuable historically.

Personally, I love the Harry Johnson book as almost half of the book is devoted to the duties of a bartender, with the other half on drinks.

I don't think you'll be disappointed with your purchase.

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And as for details about my book in particular...

It will be a general purpose cocktail book, but of course with my own perspective throughout.

It is 224 pages, with lots and lots of color photos. We had Chad Solomon and Christy Pope in New York work with the photographer to make sure the cocktails were all accurately made and well presented, I felt that this was an important component for the book.

It is hardcover, with a concealed wire binding.

In the first half of the book I pontificate, as I am want to do, about the basics and details about whats important for making great cocktails. I tried to keep it as approachable as possible to the beginner, but still dive into some of the nitty-gritty details that I think are important to get into the hands of the professionals out there.

In the second half we get into the actual recipes, I think there were something like 250 or so in the final count, for some of these recipes I reached out to bars and bartenders around the world to submit some recipes of their own creation, as well as supply some details and insights as to why they created it and how to really make them well. I also try to provide any historical background and insights on the various cocktails presented when I knew something.

The hardest part about this book was to keep myself from saying too much. :-> I worked hard to keep the first half of the book as tight and too the point as possible, but there was lots of stuff that I "Wanted" to get into, but just knew I couldn't without going way over the target page-count... guess I need to save some of that for my next book...

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Wow.... I've been eager to get my hands on one of these for a while, and now I can choose a stack. I'm thinking of starting with Thomas, Craddock, and Embury, then I'll save up another benjamin for round two.

The Barflies & Cocktails book is actually by Harry McElhone, not Harry Craddock and I would highly recommend it. Much more interesting than the ABC of Mixing Cocktails and some nice pictures inside.

[...]

Oops, my mistake!

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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From the website, it looks like the first batch will be available July 10th.

The Modern Bartender's Guide

The Mixicologist

Recipes of American and Other Iced Drinks

Bartenders' Manual

Barflies and Cocktails

Robert's book is slated for September 15th.

Embury slated for October 1st, and Thomas for October 20th.

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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I don't know the exact launch date; however, Dale DeGroff has a new mixology book coming out shortly as well. (Sorry if already mentioned.)

Joe Kaiser

Kold-Draft

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Fax: (814) 455-6336

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joe.kaiser@kold-draft.com

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It's not Ice if it's not Kold

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Todd:

There was a huge table of books in the lobby of the Monteleone all during Tales last summer. Can't imagine they'd change that since they seemed to be doing a brisk business last year. I know I picked up a few books myself.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Todd:

There was a huge table of books in the lobby of the Monteleone all during Tales last summer.  Can't imagine they'd change that since they seemed to be doing a brisk business last year.  I know I picked up a few books myself.

I remember that book table and am sure it will return. I was just wondering if the gift shop at the Museum of the American Cocktail, which will reopen in New Orleans the Monday after Tales, might be a regular, year-round source for cocktail books.

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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Todd:

There was a huge table of books in the lobby of the Monteleone all during Tales last summer.  Can't imagine they'd change that since they seemed to be doing a brisk business last year.  I know I picked up a few books myself.

I remember that book table and am sure it will return. I was just wondering if the gift shop at the Museum of the American Cocktail, which will reopen in New Orleans the Monday after Tales, might be a regular, year-round source for cocktail books.

Mud Puddle's cocktail books will be available at the Museum of the American Cocktail's gift shop.

At Tales of the Cocktail, Borders will be selling related books just like last year.

Also, on Saturday at Tales of the Cocktail, Mud Puddle Books will be selling vintage cocktail books at the "Cocktail Market" event. We will have original old books and the reproductions that appear on CocktailKingdom.com.

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All this talk about the Mud Puddle Books twigged something in my brain, so I popped into the local second-hand bookstore this morning to confirm my suspicions. Lo and behold, there lay a copy of Mixing Drinks by David A. Embury, for $4.50. It looks like it's a 1980 Canadian (!) paperback reprint of the 1953 text. Apparently we don't view mixing drinks as a "fine art" here in Canada. I don't know whether it's only first editions that are hard to come by, but I'm happy to have it nevertheless.

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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  • 4 weeks later...

Peter Meehan in the Times has an article about Greg Boehm and the Mud Puddle books today:

The books are gems, less for their recipes, which are mix of arcane curiosities and the earliest documentation of cocktails we still drink today, than for their tone and approach.

C. F. Lawlor’s “The Mixicologist,” the 1899 version, contains a stern list of “Don’ts for Young Bartenders,” including the advice: “Don’t be too positive about things. You may be in error.”

“Barflies and Cocktails,” written by Harry McElhone (the Harry of the famous Harry’s New York Bar in Paris) and extensively illustrated in a cartoonish style by Wynn Holcomb, conveys a whiskey-addled sense of zany humor that seems tied to the Roaring Twenties, when the book was first published. The running conceit of the book has to do with the fictional association of International Bar Flies, the rules of which include the admonition that, “Those seeing cerise cats with purple ears should keep it to themselves.”

Indeed.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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  • 2 months later...
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  • 3 months later...

So I was recommending to a friend the Jeff Berry books, and it seems that they are all out of print; Amazon lists them as out of stock anyway. He was able to get Grog Log and Sippin' Safari via Kegowrks after we did a little digging, but does anyone have a line on Intoxica? That one, the first of the four I owned, is a sentimental favorite. Also appreciated would be a lead on Taboo Table, just to round things out.

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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So I was recommending to a friend the Jeff Berry books, and it seems that they are all out of print; Amazon lists them as out of stock anyway. He was able to get Grog Log and Sippin' Safari via Kegowrks after we did a little digging, but does anyone have a line on Intoxica? That one, the first of the four I owned, is a sentimental favorite. Also appreciated would be a lead on Taboo Table, just to round things out.

The rumor is Jeff is working on an updated version of the first two books:

New Book!

So if you can hold out, it will probably not be worth tracking down Intoxica.

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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I hope it still has all that great, crazy line art. That said, having looked at every "Polynesian" restaurant menu in the Johnson & Wales library (and there are a LOT), I can attest to the astonishing full color opportunities out there.

Got to thinking about this while making a Grog Log Test Pilot tonight.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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If you will excuse the self-promotion, I thought the readers of this thread might be interested in the latest episode of Oh Gosh! TV which was filmed at Greg Boehm's (of Mud Puddle Books) office/library. Greg gives a great overview of cocktail book history, as well as showing of some rather rare books and revealing details of the next six books that will be published by Mud Puddle this summer. It also provides a great illustration of just how close his reproductions are to the originals... it really amazed me when I saw them side by side for the first time.

Jay Hepburn

Oh Gosh!

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  • 8 months later...
  • 2 months later...

Has anyone heard anything about Jeff Berry's new book? From what I could see, it was supposed to be released in January, but neither of the two major online retailers in Canada seems to have it in stock, and my local independent bookseller - which is where I'll end up buying it - said that it didn't appear to be available, but they'd happily put it on order and let me know when it became available. Anyone know what's going on?

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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  • 3 weeks later...

Here's an interesting interview with Jeff Berry about the new book. I can't wait for this to finally hit the shelves!

On a separate note, I was excited to learn last night that Bernard DeVoto's The Hour is apparently being re-released this summer. I'm looking forward to picking up this one, too.

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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Has anyone grabbed a copy of Simon Difford's Encyclopedia of Cocktails? I have looked just a bit at it online, and I can't tell what to make of it.

I'm still trying to figure out how this differs from diffordsguide. At first I thought it was going to replace diffordsguide #8, but I see that #8 has also been published. There seems to be little difference between the two.

Mike

"The mixing of whiskey, bitters, and sugar represents a turning point, as decisive for American drinking habits as the discovery of three-point perspective was for Renaissance painting." -- William Grimes

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