Our mission: to help in the transition from drinker of quantity to drinker of quality. Along the way, we'll have some laughs, or someone's catching heck. Prolly me.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I Must to New York City, but first, a Gift!

NYC! Just as I remember it!
As I often needs must, I needs must be in NYC for the remainder of the week, and the week's ends, so my posts will be erratic or non existant. I apologize in advance. If you find yourself a bit lonely without the childish dick jokes and snark panache and wit of your old pal Johnny, Twitter and FaceBook are your best bets. The good news is, I shall be stumbling about the city and will be able to post several reviews of quality boozeterias  in the future.

The better news is, I'm going to leave you with a gift that shall more than tide you over till next week. A book. An entire book on Cocktail crafting. And you can have it right. now.

How to Mix Drinks, or The Bon Vivant's Companion, 1862, by "Professor" Jerry Thomas  America’s celebrity bartender, was the first book on cocktails published in the United States. The recipes range from strange old standards, with ingredients that will surely cause one to hesitate, to complex chem-lab like preparations, to signature mixes invented by Thomas himself. Guides for mixing familiar drinks, sours, fizzes, and highballs, are included, but often in strange, forgotten formulations. This is wonderful book filled with nostalgia for an bygone age of crapulent wonder. And, of course, it raises more questions than it answers.

I am pleased and proud to give it to you, as a gift, this very instant, due to the courtesy of earlier, saner copyright law, and futuristic digital technology. Yes, preview this little gem at the Google eBook site, then download the PDF here, or for your devices here. I've directed you to the Spanish eBook site where the book is still in English, because the American site's edition does not include the book cover for some reason, and I felt I had to share that with you. I mean, look at that happy bastard; mastering booze, classiness and fire, all at once!

As Bon Vivants, you simply can't be without this book. Think of it, not just as a gift, but as a primer, as I will be attempting some of the more difficult cocktails in future articles.

So, here's to you, "Professor" Jerry Thomas! And "Here's to you!" dear reader.

Stay classy, botoms up!
-Johnny Lager

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