My only truly old vintage cocktail book is called “Burke’s Complete Cocktail & Drinking Recipe,”published in 1936. I love it. I have it on a special shelf. I take it down just to look at it when I’m having a bad day. Yes, it brings out my inner “cocktail geek.”
So, when I got an email telling me about Mud Puddle / Cocktail Kingdom’s vintage cocktail book reproductions, I began to salivate and quiver with pleasure. My geek-o-meter went on overdrive and I couldn’t type fast enough to tell them that – YES – of course I’d love to cover this on The Liquid Muse.
And, much to my delight, I received 2 sample books in the mail upon returning from Tales of the Cocktail. Great timing since the week after Tales is a bit like the week after New Year’s. You’re tired, full of toxins, and feel a bit like “now what?”
They are both beautiful. One is called “The Mixicologist, or How to Mix All Kinds of Fancy Drinks” by C.F. Lawlor. How kewl. And the original copyright is 1895!! And, get a load of this Dedication. Makes me woozy with delight:
“This book has been prepared for the benefit of those who patronize the best bar-rooms, wine-rooms, and club-rooms, so that they may know what is really good, and when and where they can get it. If that class shall be benefited, then the writer will feel amply repaid for the time and trouble he has expended and feel that a life spent in the service of good taste has not been in vain.”
Is that not just absolutely, fantastically AWESOME!?! Ooooh, I love this book.
The other sample Cocktail Kingdom sent me is called “Harry Johnson’s New and Improved Illustrated Bartender’s Manual, or How to Mix Drinks of the Present Style, and a Guide for Hotels and Restaurants.” Harry Johnson calls himself: “Publisher and Professional Bartender, and Instructor in the Art How to Attend a Bar.” Fa-bu-lous, n’est ce pas?
The first line of Mr. Johnson’s book reads:
“Early in my childhood, I developed a fascination with cocktails in general, and bartending in specific. It wasn’t the alcohol that caught my attention, but the craftsmanship, the skill and the art.”
Doesn’t that just make your skin all tingly? If you are a true Sipster, it should.
I don’t have to tell you what to get the cocktail lover in your life for the next gift-giving holiday. (You better believe this post will end up in my husband’s inbox, too…) Visit Cocktail Kingdom and brighten someone’s day. Maybe they’ll whip you up a little history in a glass as thanks.