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the art of mixing drinks. circa: 1957.

i stumbled upon a dusty, worn bartender's guide to mixing drinks, based on "The Famous Esquire Drink Book" (though infamous to me). with the popularity of Mad Men, retro drinks and the old techniques are coming back into style. old is a la mode, classic is as classic does, and although this book is the Yoda to's also the Jabba to the gold bikini in terms of devaluing women and encouraging people to get wasted (while remailing suave of course), and really bizarre, hopefully-never-ever-again made drinks.... classic.some of these excerpts really made me chuckle...thought i'd share...


The Art of Mixing Drinks

  • The Magic Touch: "there are good drinks and bad drinks -sometimes of the very same ingredients, just as there are good bars and bad bars which serve the same drinks...for the spongers, give them the worst you have, short of poisoning them...if they like your stuff too much, they might come back to often...use your smallest glasses; these louts are always fast talkers and fast drinkers, and the more ice water you give them the better". only certain customers are always right. gotcha.
  • What and When: Romance. "She'll see things your way after Champagne cocktails...Pink Lady will put the lady in the pink...dancing is an easy transition; slow music. Suggest a Sherry Flip; or if thirsty a Cuba Libre. No politics or heavy conversation. Remember, she's tired...The show's over; now it's time for your play!" umm...foreplay?!
  • Erskine Caldwell's Tobacco Road Cocktail: "Please observe closely the following procedure: 1. Select in May six of your finest McIntosh trees and place a hive of bees under each tree to insure the setting of the blossoms. 2. Visit your trees with a spray gun once a month until October, and see to it that not an insect remains alive. 3. About the middle of October gather by hand four bushels of the finest "red", selecting each apple for colour, size, and ripeness. 4. When these are ready to put into the hopper of your cider mill, go back to the orchard and pick up two pecks of windfalls from the ground, carefully selecting the most decayed, wormiest and snailencrusted. 5. Mic the two gatherings and grind and press. 6. For three days and nights drink the sweetest cider you have ever tasted, noting that no matter how much you drink, you can always find room for a little more. 7. On the fourth day you will discover that you have the hardest drink that ever blew a bung hole." *okay...i have to interject here, 'cuz WTF!!!???*
  • Learn your Aftermath: "Alcohol isn't a solver of emotional problem. if your gal has turned you down for the other fellow or your marriage has hit the rocks, don't expect liquor to compensate. The label on the bottle makes no such promise." Mr. Tequila, be my BFF!
  • Hangover: "Upon arising, try to force yourself to do a little mild exercise. If this seems impossible, go to an open window and breathe deeply as many times as you can stand it. An oxygen tent is the one real aid to a hangover, but so few homes are equipped with oxygen tents nowadays that deep breathing must be accepted as substitute". it's 2011! where's my anti-hangover tank!?