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OP: A Cocktail Continentale

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by Bruce Reynolds

Bruce Reynolds’ lively and humorous A Cocktail Continentale (1926) is a travelog of a Jazz Age bon vivant, written in the voice of a fast-talking New Yorker. The second person narrative has us eating and drinking our way through 38 cities across 24 countries, not so subtly snubbing the Volstead Act back home in the process. 

We dine at The Savoy in London and Ciro’s in Paris, chase one cognac with another at the roulette table in Monte Carlo, and enjoy chocolate in Antwerp, ouzo in Athens—of the drink: ”a sort of absinthe with a dash of dynamite and the kick of an army mule. A 2 step drink. You step in to get it. And step out and get arrested.”

Certainly not a thorough travel guide neither then nor now but a wildly entertaining and engaging read. Though, to be sure, Reynolds’ point of view is that of an outsider, often brash and offensive. A colorful representation of the era, in all regards.

Our copy is the true first printing, published by New York’s George Sully and Company. The interior is mostly clean with a few light stains and the occasional dogear. Though it lacks the scarce jacket, the red clothbound case is bright and barely shows wear. A Very Good example and sturdy enough to last another 100 years.

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