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American Bar: The Artistry of Mixing Drinks Hardcover – October 16, 1995

4.3 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German

About the Author

Charles Schumann has been a bartender for more than twenty years, the last ten as proprietor of Schumann's in Munich. He is the author of Schumann's Bar Book and Schumann's Tropical Bar Book.
--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Abbeville Press (October 16, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558598537
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558598539
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.2 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #341,737 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The classy maroon cover, and black type on this little volume are quite fitting to the contents that it contains. Charles Schumann has done an execellent job at gathering a very impressive collection of recipes. The recipes are listed in alphabetical order, and with the inclusion of a very comprehensive cross index at the front of the book, it allows you to look up recipes for a variety of different purposes.
Scattered within the recipes in the first half of the book are several of his own design, with the "Fallen Leaves" being one of my personal favorites. The second half of the book contains a great collection of information about different cocktail categories, sprits, liqueurs, as well as a review of mixology tools, terms, and processes in general.
However, I do take issue with several of the recipes he provides. He describes both the Old Fashioned and Sazerac as being filled with water or soda as the final step, neither of which is correct. He also indicates Triple Sec as the proper ingredient for a Sidecar, when it should be Cointreau, and the proportions he provides for this don't result in what I feel are a properly balanced drink.
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Format: Hardcover
If I wasn't a devouted Christian, Charles Schumann would be my God. This book exudes class, the maroon cover and the black binding make it worth having simply for the pose value. This book is an invaluable fountain of cocktail knowledge, interspersed with Schumann's own advice, for instance with the recipe for Long Island Iced Tea he wryly remarks "I personally never pour vodka and gin together"(funnier in print). If you like cocktails, or simply want to know about them (there is a comprehensive history of varoius alcohols), buy this book.
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By A Customer on September 3, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book on cocktails, the philosophy of bartending, and the history of various alcohols. I have never seen a better single book for the home or professional bartender.
A number of reviewers have already expressed their enthusiasm for this great book, but some have qualified their admiration by quibbling with Schumann over a recipe or two, claiming that the master has "got it wrong" and that they know the "correct" way that a particular drink should be prepared. These reviewers are entitled to their opinions, but I think potential readers of Schumann's book would do well to note that there is no definitive recipe for any sufficiently well-established cocktail, just as no two chefs will agree on the recipe for a perfect omelette. Schumann offers elegant, minimalist versions of almost all of the great cocktails -- what more do you want?
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By A Customer on November 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
For all those enjoying a good dinner party where cocktails and longdrinks are essential parts, this book gives you a most comprehensive guide in this category. A book giving simply the best of advice and tips in the field of mixing, shaking or blending drinks. Looks great too!
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Format: Hardcover
This is a beautiful book. It is easy written and the recipes are well explained. The images, like the paintings help a lot to make a tasteful cocktail. It is the best written book I've read about this subject.
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Format: Hardcover
To some people the "American Bar" by Charles Schumann is their bible. Indeed it is beautifully printed, illustrated and presented. However, under closer scutiny this books claims of using original recipes is somewhat suspicious.
At this present time, there is a renaissance going on in cocktail making, and historical study of recipes. That may sound pompous, but it is true. And due to this on-going renaissance, glaring holes are being exposed in Herr Schumann's book.
Here are the ones that I found, the fact that they are extremely well known recipes makes it even worse.
Bellini (lemon juice. why?),
Caipirinha (lime wedge. no whole lime?),
Kamikaze (rose's lime "juice". why?),
Long Island Iced Tea (orange juice. why?),
Mai Tai (rose's lime "juice". why?),
Mojito (crushed ice. why?),
Old Fashioned ("fill with soda or water". why?),
Rob Roy (dry AND sweet vermouth. why?),
Sazerac (1. bourbon, instead of American Rye, 2. "fill with water". both Why?),
Scotch Sour (powdered sugar AND sugar syrup. Why?),
Sidecar (no sugar rim. why?),
There are no explanations as to why the recipes are so unorthodox, they are just stated as fact. Blindly following these recipes leads to bartenders who think they know it all, because they are using Schumann's recipe, but not having any indepth knowledge of the history of the cocktail.
If you are a bartender, or want to be, then you will probably end up buying this book anyway, just to see what the fuss is about. Do yourself a favour and make sure you buy plenty of other books, so you can compare them.
As someone who has been a bar manager, and head bartender, I wouldn't hire someone who insisted on making cocktails to Schumann's specifications.
There is some sound advice in the back of the book, but the recipes themselves are not worth buying the book for.
Buy this book, and lots of others to compare it to.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's a vast collection of drinks with a lot of great history and information that is well illustrated. That being said, the first page,143, that I opened to all 3 recipes had mistakes in them and 2 of these are some of my favorite drinks the Negroni & Sazerac. The Negroni uses an orange not lemon twist as the orange brightens the drink and the lemon is ore more acidic which makes the Campari seem more bitter. In the New Orleans or Ramos Fizz the orange flower water is added at the end just before the soda which makes it aromatic, it's lost when it's mixed in and most are served without ice. The Sazerac, the official drink of New Orleans, was originally made with Cognac and in some places there still is but the vast majority are made with rye whiskey never bourbon. I do think his line of glassware has some great designs that I have purchased which led me to buy the book.
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