on 16 February 2013
This little volume is a delightful reminder of a time when books were Real Books and Kindles ... well, let's face it, Kindles hadn't been invented. It's a thing of beauty, a morsel of magnificence; indeed, an object of desire that the publishers have clearly produced with love and care.
Now that the spirit of Stephen Fry has passed from me, I ought to fill you in on some more practical details. This lively little hardback contains 100 Drink Recipes (interspersed with black and white stills from classic movies, accompanied by apt quotes), a Cocktail Chronology, a Brief History of the Martini (perhaps for those of us who couldn't manage its sister volume by Stephen Hawking), information about glassware and bar equipment and a glossary of cocktail terminology. There are also three indices, enabling readers to search the book by the name of the cocktail, the type of drink it is, and the main ingredient (very important when you're deciding what to do with that bottle of gin that's been sitting in the cupboard for a while). The book is meticulously designed and presented. Each drink is introduced on its own double page spread, so that the recipe appears opposite an enticing photograph of the finished product. According to the research that I have conducted thus far, the finished products are all delicious.
Whilst I'm sure that you could find perfectly reliable recipes for all of the cocktails listed in this book via your search engine of choice on the internet, '100 Classic Cocktails' is just a wonderful thing to hold in your hand and to place lovingly on your bookshelf. If you can bear to part with it, you could even give it as a gift.
This review refers to the hardback edition of '100 Classic Cocktails' published by Abbeville Press in 1998.
on 31 December 2009
This is a really excellent little book on cocktails. It covers all the classics. Martini, Manhattan, Cosmopolitan etc...All the instructions on how to make the cocktails are very clear and there is a picture to go with each one. As well as the drink recipies there is a cocktail chronology, a brief history of the Martini, a chapter on glassware and bar equipment, a glossary and a selected bibliography. Added extra, there are quotations and film stills throughout the book which all relate to cocktails. Very cool. A good book for introducing yourself to the world of cocktails!