by Pink Lady
Interested in building a home cocktail library but not sure where to begin? This week’s Dig column mentioned some modern books that will get you started in the right direction. Here are a few more titles to check out as you expand your collection:
JIGGER, BEAKER, GLASS by Charles H. Baker is a modern reprint of a cocktail book originally published in 1946 as The Gentleman’s Companion. It’s a bit more challenging to mix from as many of the measurements are weird and retro, but worth picking up as the author’s writing breathes fresh, witty life into each recipe. Charles H. Baker spent most of his life traveling the world and writing about his food & drink exploits for Esquire, Town & Country, and Gourmet magazine. I’m jealous. This is the kind of cocktail book you read just to read.
Another must have book for any cocktail enthusiast is The Savoy Cocktail Book by Harry Craddock. An American ex-pat who fled the states during Prohibition to staff the American Bar in London, Harry Craddock was one of the most famous barmen of the 1920s and 30s. His legacy lives on in the 750 + recipes contained in the most recent reprint of the book, which has even inspired a little Julie-Julia style cocktail project: Erik Ellestad is mixing every cocktail in the book and chronicling his experiences here and here.
We’ll write more about vintage cocktail books in future posts, including suggestions on where to look for original editions, but also wanted to point new readers in the direction of Mud Puddle Books. The company recently began issuing beautifully bound reprints of long out-of-print cocktail books. The craft-quality makes them a bit more pricey than most trade hardcovers or paperbacks, but well worth the higher price tag. You can buy online, or swing by the Boston Shaker store to check them out.
Happy reading/mixing! Cin cin!