Victor Bergeron (1902–1984), better known as Trader Vic, is widely credited, along with Donn Beach, with giving legs to the tiki cocktail craze that began in the 1930s and lasted for decades in the US. Bergeron was one of the foremost practitioners of the kitschy aesthetics associated with tiki culture, and his influence was given national prominence by a partnership with Conrad Hilton that spread Trader Vic’s restaurants across the US.
The Bartender’s Guide (1947) is a manual intended for professionals. It includes a chapter on how to deal with check dodgers and drunks and two other chapters titled “People that Bartenders Don’t Like” and “Bartenders that Customers Don’t Like.” Of course there are cocktails too, many of them. Naturally, the book favors tiki drinks and other classics that have a tropical flare, but you will also find martinis, Manhattans, and the like. Black and white photos of requisite cocktail glasses and mugs are included for ease of reference.
Humorous, irreverent, brash, and decidedly “modern”—a counterpoint to the worship of pre-prohibition classics and bartenders in suspenders—the book also takes its job at crafting enjoyable cocktails and decent, knowledgeable bartenders seriously.
This is a 1972 revised book club edition, updated for the changing tastes and new inventions in the 30 years since its first release. Near Fine with a Very Good dust jacket, exhibiting minor chipping and closed tears. Good fun.