David Wondrich was born on the banks of the Monongahela and raised mostly in suburban New York City. After working as a house painter, a mattress stuffer, messenger, clerk and process server for a mob lawyer, bass player in more bands than he can count and a dozen other things, he settled down and earned a doctorate in Comparative Literature, specializing in Latin scientific poetry. That led to a job as an English professor, which he didn't like. What he did like was writing about jazz and ragtime for the Village Voice and the New York Times and about cocktails for Esquire, a job he began in 1999 and is still happily performing today. Imbibe, his 2007 tribute to Professor Jerry Thomas, has become an essential text for bartenders and cocktail geeks alike. It is the first cocktail book to win a James Beard award. Punch, his 2010 follow-up, has helped refill the flowing bowl around the world. At present he is hard at work on a big, thick reference book.