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The Encyclopedia of Cocktails: The People, Bars & Drinks, with More Than 100 Recipes

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by Robert Simonson
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Although the title might make you first suspect that this is simply a recipe collection, in truth it is a handy, informedly opinionated reference to much more than the amount of absinthe in a Sazerac.

Robert Simonson, a regular contributor to The New York Times as well as the author of numerous other cocktail books including the expert 3-Ingredient Cocktails, does answer your questions about measurements, but he’s more interested in the history and lore behind liquors, drinks, bars, and the men and women who have pioneered mixology.

Among the places Simonson shines light:

  • Ada Coleman, the first woman to run the bar at London’s Savoy Hotel and creator of the Hanky Panky
  • The Carousel Bar at Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans, which does indeed go round-and-round, albeit slowly
  • The Dry Shake method of mixing
  • Matutinal cocktails, designed for drinking early in the day
  • Ward Eight: “The only famous cocktail to have come out of Boston, and one that has perennially fallen short of the title ‘beloved.’”

The book is also valuable as a guide to classic and recent figures in the cocktail scene, as well as to famous and influential establishments, including a few which outlived their glory.

Hardcover. Color illustrations throughout.

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