Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cocktail anyone?

We carry a lot of things that most bookstores don't. Like this essential cheesemaking manual. And synthetic owl puke. Many of these unique items never make it to our web site, so the in-person browser truly is rewarded, beyond just seeing our many great books and people and masks and the nooks and crannies of the store.

Notably, we recently received a batch of quirky reprints of old cocktail guides. There are about a dozen of them, mostly $19.95 to $29.95.

These two are fine examples. The one on the left is from 1884. It's subtitled:
Fancy Drinks and How to Mix Them


clear and practical directions for mixing all kinds of cocktails, sours, egg nog, sherry cobblers, coolers, absinthe, crustas, fizzes, flips, juleps, fixes, punches, lemonades, and pousse cafes, together with complete directions and receipts for making all kinds of domestic brandies, beers, wines, cordials, extracts and syrups.
The one on the right is from Paris, 1927. Its whimsical illustrations, as implied by the cover, make this a perfect stocking stuffer for any modern tippler or your favorite bartender.

Above is our local pride, published in San Francisco in 1908 by "Hon. Wm. (Cocktail) Boothby. I'm not sure about all of these recipes. Like the Reviver on p.68. Hmm:
Into a large goblet, place two lumps of ice, a jigger of raspberry syrup, a wine-glass of milk and a pony of brandy. Fill the glass with sweet soda, stir and serve.
Maybe the Quencher ("a la the late Tommy Mulcahy") is more to my taste.
Take a mixing-glass, half filled with fine ice, throw in four spoonfuls of sour, two spoonfuls of bar sugar and one jigger of fine cognac. Break an egg into a separate glass, and if pleasant, throw into your mixer; shake well, strain into a large pint glass and fill up with a cool bottle of imported ginger ale. This makes one of the finest drinks known.
Perhaps with your gift of this book to someone you could include sour mix, sugar, cognac, ginger ale and an egg? We'll report back if we manage to give this one a try. Hopefully late this afternoon. . . .


Roman said...

The holiday party IS coming up...

hateyourspecies said...

i've got this great old mixer's guide that claims to be the first to be published post-prohibition. it includes a terrifying concoction known as a "Mountain Cocktail", which if memory serves correct calls for an egg white and a sizeable amount of vermouth. simpler times? perhaps, but i'd like to think of that as coming from a "more disgusting" time.

Cherilla said...

I've got a cocktail shaker and I know how to use it!

Jason Henry McCormick said...

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Spiros said...

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