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Aug 17, 2012 11:24 AM

New cocktail books

Stew Ellington has written an interesting new cocktail book, "901 Very Good Cocktails: A Practical Guide". It combines the best of classic cocktails and modern cutting-edge recipes. He is funding it with a kickstarter campaign. I have no association with Stew, but it looks like a great book, so I pledged my support. Think of it as just pre-ordering a signed copy! Or go crazy and sponsor him.

You can say that you "knew him when...".

Also, Fred Yarm posted his Facebook page that he's written a new book that chronicles his 4-5 years of exploring the Boston craft cocktail scene. I look forward to getting it as soon as it's published. Fred is the (these days sole) contributor on

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  1. That would be me for the second. I just received the proofs today and the book should be out sometime in September via Amazon, the Boston Shaker, and other stores. It's 500+ original drinks created in Boston with only a few classics where there is a noteworthy Boston variation on the original.

    17 Replies
    1. re: yarm

      Fred, Congrats on the book!

      1. re: yarm

        Congrats, that is really cool

        1. re: yarm

          I look forward to going to the Boston Shaker and picking up a copy soon! Or do you think ordering it through Amazon might help it get more nationwide cred?

          1. re: Alcachofa

            It matters to me not for my profits, but it would be great to support Adam and the Boston Shaker. I'm not sure how Amazon's rankings go as compared to other sales rankings; I'm still figuring things out and I can get back to you later on that. As for more nationwide cred, if you like the book, talk about it on the web and in life with people near and far.

            I know the bartenders and bar managers here in Boston are pretty excited about the idea and about the proof that many of them saw, but then again, they have a vested interest in it.

            1. re: yarm

              Good point--it is almost always better to support the local independent business.

              1. re: Alcachofa

                Awesome news Yarm! Can't wait to see if some of my favorites are in the book!

          2. re: yarm

            It's out now on Amazon (link below) and books should be at the Boston Shaker by late next week:

            1. re: yarm

              Congrats, Yarm. Looks like it's already doing quite well on Amazon. #13 in the Bartending category. Impressive!

              1. re: davis_sq_pro

                It hit as high as #3 after the first day. I'm awaiting a shipment of books to send out to reviewers to get some more publicity (and the rest will go to the Boston Shaker store, book signings such as the Boston Cocktail Summit, etc.) so that people I don't directly know will start to buy the book.

              2. re: yarm

                I do hope you'll be doing a book signing at the Shaker sometime soon? I look forward to it.

                1. re: johncb

                  I believe that it will appear at the Shaker by the end of the week or so, and they're slating a signing there in November. There's going to be signings in October at Tres Gatos (J.P.) and at the Boston Cocktail Summit.

                1. re: yarm

                  Just ordered your book via Amazon, Fred, for delivery later this week. Love your blog too...made the Black Lodge the other night and it was fab.

                  After a lifetime living in Boston and having moved to PHX 5 years ago, it's cool to see how the cocktail scene has grown. Well done on the book!

                  1. re: yarm

                    Hi yarm,

                    I've only just begun to explore _Drink and Tell_, but I've very much enjoyed what I've read and played with so far. Thanks for all that hard work that we can now all benefit from. Great work!

                    1. re: cacio e pepe

                      Cheers and thank you for the kind words!

                      1. re: yarm

                        Fred, is there any chance that there will be a Kindle version?

                        1. re: marais

                          There is a chance. Originally, Kindle and Nook versions were high on the list since my software will convert files into ePub format. However, much of my book is layout that is lost when it was converted and I realized that I would have to start again. If it does happen, I probably won't start until after Portland Cocktail Week at the end of October. I need to rethink how I want the book to look and feel given the ePub scalability.

                  2. Well I just signed up for the kickstarter. I've been researching cocktails for a project I'm doing and would love to see someone else's work.

                    1. Has anyone seen and have an opinion on "World's Best Cocktails: 500 Signature Drinks from the World's Best Bars and Bartenders"?

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: emily

                        I've looked high and low, and I can't find anything about this other than a mention of 4 bartenders who have recipes in there (on the Amazon page). His site that Amazon mentions has a few recipes but is otherwise pretty barren. He's definitely been around the booze world for a while, but I don't really know what sort of recipes are in there.

                        1. re: emily

                          Well, since it seems it was only published yesterday it might be a bit soon for anyone to have a copy.

                          1. re: JMF

                            Unlike my book that was self published, many traditional publishers send out books a few weeks in advance for review so there is a buzz when it hits the shelves. And right now, the buzz is whether its worth shelling out for a book that could be amazing or could be a dud.

                            EDIT: I'm taking one for the team and just ordered it on Amazon. I'll tell you guys my review when it shows (could be next week). I figure that some one who collects 500 recipes from around the world should be given a chance, and even if 480 of them suck, I consider 20 solid recipes (i.e.: I plan on making them) from a book a major win these days.

                            1. re: yarm

                              "Signature cocktail" is code for "Bartender's craptail." ;)

                              I do need to get over to The Boston Shaker to pick up your masterpiece. And it looks like Stew Elington's book is making good progress.

                              1. re: yarm

                                I took one for the team, and "World's Best Cocktails: 500 Signature Drinks from the World's Best Bars and Bartenders" arrived yesterday from Amazon. It's a big, sizable coffee table-like book. A lot of the book is classics that you have elsewhere, history and descriptions of spirits, etc. There are pages in between of bartenders around the world with glimpses of what they are mixing up in Moscow or Amsterdam. Also, Morganthaler, bartenders from PDT, Employees Only, the Franklin, etc. There's a lot of infused ingredients and calls for house bitters (with the recipe) so some it seems labor intensive.

                                Overall, I'll probably get my money's worth if I can extract 10 good recipes from the book. I spotted maybe 1 that I might want to make in the 10 minutes of perusal. It does seem like it's a book that is trying to do too much.

                          2. Just picked up my copy Fred Yarm's "Drink & Tell" at The Boston Shaker and have started to enjoy the book. For anyone interested in contemporary cocktails -- pro or amateur alike, Boston or anywhere -- this book is well worth owning. It represents a wide spectrum of cocktail ideas, pretty much all high-quality. I can see that it was a ton of work to produce. Think of it as the secret insider's guide to contemporary craft cocktails in Boston.

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