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Looking for a retro cocktail book

districtSW Feb 1, 2010 07:02 PM

Looking for a retro/old fashioned cocktail recipe book. Any suggestions?

  1. w
    will47 Feb 2, 2010 11:50 PM

    Check out Mud Puddle Books / Cocktail Kingdom (http://cocktailkingdom.com/) -- because not only do they have a great selection of reproductions of classic cocktail books, but also some really nice quality barware and bitters.

    1. davis_sq_pro Feb 2, 2010 08:06 AM

      In my opinion if you want a retro cocktail book you can't do much better than the "Savoy Cocktail Book":


      ... it really depends, though, on whether you want a "retro cocktail book" or a "book about retro cocktails". If the latter is the actual case then I second (third?) the recommendation for "Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails".

      1 Reply
      1. re: davis_sq_pro
        yarm Feb 3, 2010 07:27 AM


        Other suggestions (and these are secondary to those two): Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book (new/reprint). A vintage 1947 Trader Vic Bartender's Guide (there are newer editions, but they have some crappy newer recipes thrown in) which should only run you $10 or so.

        My other suggestions would be further afield than what you should get for your first book or two.


      2. r
        roro1831 Feb 2, 2010 07:03 AM

        The Art of the Cocktail


        1. EvergreenDan Feb 2, 2010 03:37 AM

          +1 on Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails. It is a beautiful book as well. I bought it at The Boston Shaker based on his advice. Maybe support a little guy, rather than Amazon?

          1 Reply
          1. re: EvergreenDan
            watercress Feb 2, 2010 06:44 PM

            +2 on Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails. I am a novice, though, so I don't know the majority of what's out there. I do know that I'm having a whole lot of fun with it, trying many of the drinks. I like his taste, and it's great to learn of new-to-me ingredients and then track some of them down. It's a nice-looking book too, and has lots of photos of cocktail accoutrements and memorabilia.

          2. jerryc123 Feb 2, 2010 03:14 AM

            I am really enjoying "Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails" by Ted Haigh.

            This is a "readable" cocktail recipe book, with a nice history of each drink it features. It is not a complete cocktail recipe book - rather, like the title suggests, it features 100 old-school drinks, some using obscure ingredients.

            It is spiral bound , which is good if you are making a cocktail, (as it lays flat on the bar or cupboard,) but not so good if you, like me, read it in bed while your significant-other complains about the "squeaky pages."

            Ted Haigh, this book, and the awareness of lost spirits, are part of the reason why long-lost ingredients like Creme Yvette, Batavia Arrack, and Swedish Punsch are back in production, and will soon be gracing our store shelves again.

            There was a thread for Bartender's Guides. Did you see it?

            1. j
              jpc8015 Feb 2, 2010 01:56 AM

              This book is the gold standard for bar books:


              This book will not give you a recipe for a Zombie but it will very clearly explain how to make all of the classic cocktails. It will also explain how each base liquor is made; and the differences between Scotch and bourbon, tequila and mezcal, Armagnac and Cognac, etc...

              1. RaleighRocker Feb 1, 2010 07:56 PM

                As far as particular book, no. BUT I do recommend going to your local thrift store--goodwill, etc I have accumulated a nice collection of vintage cookbooks, cocktail and otherwise. Not only will you probably find something cool, you'll find something inexpensive and be supporting a good cause at the same time.

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