Esquire Drinks

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Esquire Drinks

Unread postby scratchline » Thu Jan 11, 2007 7:52 pm

Although this title is out-of-print, I recently obtained a copy and want to put a good word in for it. Having taken a cocktail class from the author, David Wondrich, I can testify that he is a genuine cocktail savant as well as a really nice guy.

I purchased a copy of "Esquire Drinks" at LeNell's and find it to be the most approachable of the cocktail "bibles" I own, e.g. Joy of Mixology, Craft of the Cocktail, Savoy, Mr. Boston, etc. While not encyclopedic, it contains lots of drinks, and as Spencer Tracy might say, what there is, is "cherce." The Manhattan is presented as one of the Four Pillars of Cocktail Wisdom and the Whiskey Age is one of the periods of American Drink History. The layout is very user friendly and historically based without being dry.

If you want to acquire a little wisdom along with your drink recipes, this is the book. And it's fun and attractive to boot.

-Mike
"There exist mighty dogs, the dangerous kind who take hold of your heart and do not let go."

-Vicki Hearne
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Unread postby cowdery » Fri Jan 12, 2007 4:59 am

I sometimes poo-poo mixology and there is a lot of hype and silliness in cocktail creation, but David is a true master. At an entirely improvised bar in our lodgings at Mount Vernon last year, he whipped up a variation of the Salty Dog that was to die for.
- Chuck Cowdery

Author of Bourbon, Straight
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Unread postby bourbonv » Fri Jan 12, 2007 10:26 am

Chuck is right. A true master bartender is someone I respect as well as a master distiller. They have a knowledge of their craft that can be facinating and very tastey. The cocktail has been around for a long time and is not going to go away as long as we have saloons and bars in this world.

The way I tell a good bartender from a bad is simply ask them what bourbons they have. If Jack Daniels, Crown Royal and Southern Comfort are not on the list, then I know there is some potential here. I then ask them for an Old Fitzgerald Old Fashioned and judge their ability. The best Old Fashioned I have had yet was actually made by Preston Van Winkle, but he learned to make it from a master in a pub in London. Gary Regan makes a very good Manhattan and that is the standard I use for judging ability for that drink. I never ask for a lolly-pop drink because I don't believe that it takes as much skill to make sugared alcohol drinks.
Mike Veach
"Our people live almost exclusively on whiskey" - E H Taylor, Jr. 25 April 1873
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