Our first shipment of this hard-to-find line of vintage cocktail book reprints sold out quickly at Christmas. We just got new copies in, and in time for New Year’s. These are very detailed facsimiles of rare cocktail books published from the 1860s to the 1940s, with new introductions by leading cocktailians. The publisher is a small outfit in New York. Amazon doesn’t sell these and you can’t get them at Borders or Barnes & Noble. Score one for the scrappy independent bookseller!
From the top, we have
Jerry Thomas. How to Mix Drinks, or the Bon-Vivant’s Companion (aka The Bartender’s Guide). First published in 1862. One of the first cocktail books, and an eye-opening look at drinks that are closer to rot-gut than to today’s artisanal cocktails. Consider #202: Gin and Pine. “Split a piece of the heart of a green pine log into fine splints…take 2 ounces of the same and put into a quart decanter, and fill the decanter with gin. Let the pine soak for two hours, and the gin will be ready to serve.” Of course, there are precursors to modern cocktails and instructions for making cordials. Hardcover. $30
George Kappeler. Modern American Drinks. First published in 1895 and written by the barman at a leading New York hotel. With jazz, cocktails may be one of America’s great gifts to the world (I suppose one should add democracy to the list too) and this book, while not well known, introduces 75 cocktails whose recipes were not previously published. Hardcover. $30
Robert Vermeire. Cocktails: How to Mix Them. First published in 1922. By the bartender of London’s Embassy Club. A good look at the cocktails popular during the Roaring 20s in London, and notable because the author reports the inventors of many drinks, information that might otherwise be lost to time. Hardcover with a dust jacket. $20
David Embury. The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks. First published in 1948, this is a reprint of the 1958 edition. Embury’s work is the classic guide to the cocktail and the beginnings of contemporary mixology. Opinionated and knowledgeable and as influential in the bar world as Julia Child was for American cooking. Hardcover in dust jacket. $30
William Boothby. The World’s Drinks and How to Mix Them. First published in Sacramento in 1891. This is a reprint of the 1908 edition. This is San Francisco’s big contribution to cocktails. Boothby worked in bars all over the bay area, was elected to the California state assembly, and went on to be the bartender at San Francisco’s Palace Hotel. Softcover. $20
Charlie Paul. American and Other Iced Drinks: Recipes. First published in 1902. Most notable for its many engraved illustrations of bar equipment. Card covers. $25
Frank Meier. The Artistry of Mixed Drinks. First published in Paris in 1936, and written by the bartender of the Ritz Bar, in the French capital. An attractive bar book, each page surrounded by a decorative red border. Softcover, $35
Harry Johnson. New and Improved Illustrated Bartenders’ Manual. First published in 1888, this is a facsimile of the 1900 edition. A true bartender’s guide, with information on cashing checks, mortgages, bookkeeping, as well as recipes for drinks. With Jerry Thomas, Harry Johnson was one of the two great bartenders of the 19th century. Softcover, $30.
Jacques Straub. Drinks. First published in 1914. A no-nonsense guide to making 292 cocktails and more than 1,000 drinks, crammed into just 96 pages. Stiff covers, $20
Harry McElhone and Wynn Holcomb. Barflies and Cocktails. Published in Paris in 1927. McElhone was the proprietor of Harry’s New York Bar, in Paris – having had to leave his post at the Plaza in New York due to Prohibition. Illustrated with delightful caricatures by Holcomb. Hardcover. $30
C. F. Lawlor. The Mixicologist. First published in 1895; this is a reprint of the 1899 edition. One of the few 19th century cocktail books to originate somewhere other than the coasts. This was published in Cincinnati. It may be the only bar book to include a drink made with ambergris, an intestinal secretion of the sperm whale (“Wedding Punch,” p. 21). The book has many ads for Cincinnati businesses, advice to young bartenders, and discourses on wine and other beverages. Card covers. $30
Ensslin, Hugo R. Recipes for Mixed Drinks. First published in 1916; facsimile based on the 1917 second edition. The final bartender’s guide from New York before Prohibition. Relatively little known, it turns out to be the source for more than 100 drinks in Harry Craddock’s Savoy Cocktail Book, *the* guide to cocktails from the Prohibition Era (and therefore published in England). Softcover, $20
O. H. Byron. The Modern Bartenders’ Guide. First published in 1884. Notable for its recipes for making bitters, liqueurs, and cordials. Hardcover, $30
[To place an order, contact Eureka Book at 707-444-9593 or use the email link on our website.]