Book Reviews

Book review: Spirituous Journey – A History of Drink.

You want to know about cocktails, beers, wines, spirits and anything else about alcoholic drinks, this is the book that tells it all.

The authors have covered in eight chapters, anything and everything about the history of cocktails, the Prohibition, Speak Easies, famous bartenders, and much more.

In addition to all the above, they provide recipes as originally created by the inventors. These recipes alone show how recipes change over time, and not always for the best.

The book is fascinating in its detail, for example, the forerunner of Coca Cola invented by the French chemist Angelo Mariani, or the life of Campari, the inventor of Campari. It is famous in Italy, France and elsewhere in Europe as an aperitif but not in the North American marketplace.

Then they write about the Prohibition and how it put Bourbon distillers into a disadvantage by changing taste preferences of American spirit consumers. You want to know how vodka became famous in the U S A, (start with page 159) and see how Vladimir Smirnoff landed in Paris, and Brown Forman promoted Smirnoff to become the best selling vodka and spirit in the U S A.

The sidebars on many pages are also very revealing. The one on page 175 informs the reader about thujone in absinthe and how the false information spread the fallacy of it, being hallucinogenic.

Then they wrote about Alfred Dreyfus and how the French government of the day prosecuted him wrongly and covered its mistake only to be exposed by Emile Zola in his famous article J’Accuse.

This is a book for all who like cocktails, and Americans love cocktails, and all serious bartenders.

Any bartender worth his/her salt should get a copy and read it carefully. The information will enable any bartender to become more conversant, entertaining, effective and professional;!

Highly recommended.

Hrayr Writer – Hrayr Berberoglu – E-mail – Read his books?
Professor B offers seminars to companies and interested parties on any category of wine, chocolates, chocolates and wine, olive oils, vinegars and dressings, at a reasonable cost.

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