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OP: Gordon's Cocktail and Food Recipes

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by Harry Jerrold Gordon

“Pleasure without penalty is within the reach of the drinker who will observe a few simple rules…Food may of course be taken without alcoholic drink, which is a non-essential to the average person; but alcoholic drink should never be taken without food,” so begins this pocket-sized guide to hors d’oeuvres, canapes, sandwiches, and cocktails.

The bulk of this 1934 publication acknowledges the benefit of having a starchy or salty snack available to supplement one’s thirst-quenching activities. Beginning with such “liquid hors d’oeuvres” as a sauerkraut and clam juice cocktail and expanding to heartier bites like caviar or foie gras on toast, numerous rarebit preparations, and lobster a la Newburg, you will find a reasonable array of cocktail party options.

The bulk of the book, however, is dedicated to drinks, which are arranged first by spirit and then alphabetically by name. Pre-Prohibition classics are here along with those popularized after. A comprehensive example of the time period, as well as a clear demonstration that some drinks have evolved significantly. Or perhaps some names have been recycled.

Our copy is an apparent first printing (no date other than 1934 appears), issued without dust jacket. It has weathered a few tours in a diligent bartender’s pocket, it would seem. The green pebbled boards are rubbed about the edges, and the spine is sun faded and missing a small bit at the head. The original gold stamped title remains bright. The book on a whole has suffered liquid damage, more dramatically affecting the rear board and pages, though dampstain is evident throughout on the bottom edge. Overall, a Good reference copy.

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