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Drinkology: The Art and Science of the Cocktail Hardcover – October 3, 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang (October 3, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158479304X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584793045
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.3 x 6.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,048,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Cool and sophisticated, cocktails are on the racier side of bar-drinking. Daring imbibers can indulge in Harvey Wallbangers, Alabama Slammers, Pink Ladies and more, to the unaware, exotic concoctions created with seemingly little effort by gyrating bartenders. But this ease belies an intensive training and years of experience and it is a brave man to try these at home for guests. Step in "Drink-ol-o-gy" - as the subtitle aptly explains, the art and science of the cocktail. Discover the tricks of the trade within these tactile, washable covers. A world of seemingly cryptic nomenclature, some unfortunate such as Angel's Tit and Sex on the Beach, others indicative of their ingredients - Chocolate Black Russian and Apple Martine, others conjuring up thoughts of distant shores such as Sea Breeze and Iceberg. Divided by spirit, it is an easy-to-find reference for whatever is lurking in your liquor cupboard. Whether violently coloured or subtly shaded, they are the epitome of elegance and this wittily written, informative handbook will assist you in the education of their production. Attractive in its own right, this book deserves a place on every home bar. So stun your guests with your newfound expertise and give them a reason to remember their visit for a long time to come. - Lucy Watson

About the Author

James Waller is the editor of the National Writers Union Freelance Writers Guide (F&W Publications 2000) and the writer of STC's Moviegoer's Journal (2001) and The Well-Bred Dog and The Well-Bred Cat (2002).

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Customer Reviews

I believe the point of the book is for you to make your own cocktail and see what it looks like.
A. L. Arrington
It is also a beautiful book and one meant to be used: a handsome waterproof cover, bound to lie flat and with a helpful grosgrain ribbon marker.
Mary
I received this book as a gift several years ago and now I buy it anytime I need a fun gift for someone.
Venesa

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By P. Wingo on November 19, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I got a copy of this as a birthday gift, and am buying more now to give to others. Actually I'm writing this only because the other review (Pieter in South Africa) is so off the mark. This is not a coffee table book, but a handbook on how to mix drinks, and as such it is the best I've seen. It has a really elegant design, and when we tried several of the drinks (from the "favorites" list in the back) they all came out great. A friend of mine who said he'd never made a mixed drink made a wonderful Manhattan.
And it's more than just recipes, it's entertaining to read as well. So if you want to drink cocktails, rather than just look at them, I think this is the best choice.
Oh, by the way, I only found one misspelling.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mary on January 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I am not a cocktail snob like some of the reviewers here (who sound like nothing so much as chili or barbecue fanatics, usually men, who see themselves as keepers of the true flame). But I like a good cocktail, and I like cocktail guides. This is a classic of its kind.
Drinkology is an excellent, highly respectable bar guide that is very much in the spirit of Julia Child: approach classic recipes with an open and respectful mind, and rely on your own (finely honed) abilities to create your own version.
It is also a beautiful book and one meant to be used: a handsome waterproof cover, bound to lie flat and with a helpful grosgrain ribbon marker. It represents careful thought about reference works and is really state-of-the-art. The designer and the author clearly know books. One uses Drinkology, but one also enjoys the "feel" of the book. It's also very well written and gently funny and makes a wonderful armchair companion. A great gift--for others or for yourself.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 24, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I already had one of those 1200+ recipe books, I wanted something that would spend a little time on each drink, explaining what it's like and how it's made, including any interesting history and a bit of editorial. That's exactly what this book is, and I'm glad I picked it out of the shelf of drink recipe books at the bookstore.
I love just looking through this book, reading the little paragraph that accompanies many of the recipes. One useful section: their list of favorite drinks. It's easy to get overwhelmed by the number of drinks out there that nobody ever makes. It's nice to have a place to start.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A. L. Arrington on October 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
As noted by other reviewers, this is a very elegant and functional book with an eclectic collection of sometimes hard to find recipes. I'm not sure why someone would have issues with the omission of pictures (though there are a handful of drawn illustrations). I believe the point of the book is for you to make your own cocktail and see what it looks like. As the title suggests, cocktail making is an art, but it is not related to photography otherwise. I am a huge fan of Robert Hess' Drinkboy website but I am disappointed in his selective review of this book. I am in full agreement with his analyses of these recipes (I also view the Manhattan and Old Fashioned recipes as low points in an otherwise great book, and the evaluation of the Mai Tai is nothing short of strange). HOWEVER-- what he fails to mention is that the writeup on these drinks explains that the recipe presented is a variation, and they go on to say that club soda in an Old Fashioned is sometimes considered a "travesty" and that one may feel absolutely free to omit the cherry syrup from their Manhattan (guilding the lily in my opinion) as well as use Bourbon (definitely). These handful of notable shortcomings aside, I believe this book more than redeems itself in other areas. It has several welcome features not present in many bartending guides, especially the description of what a drink tastes like (so as to know what to expect) and the favorites section, and while they are often traditional in their approach to making cockatils, they will just as often go with something they *like* as opposed to something "authentic," which I applaud as honest--and they ALWAYS encourage experimentation.Read more ›
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20 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Robert Hess on November 25, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First, to comment regarding a previous review: I don't understand how the lack of pictures of cocktails in this book is a problem. Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" didn't have any pictures either, and I'd find pictures of the final preparation of food to be far more useful then pictures of a finished drink. And this book does have very good drawings in it of glassware, tools, and processes where it needs it.
However, that does not mean that I heartily recommend this book, because I don't.
The size, color, format of the book is amazingly similar to Charles Schumann's "American Bar"... amazingly similar. Although it doesn't appear to have any direct connection to that books publisher, printer, or anything.

When I first opened up the book, it came right up with the "Mai Tai". He has a short little write-up on this drink, and thankfully provides the correct recipe (besides the addition of grenadine). However, in his write-up he states:
"The Mai tai is, in a word, awful. But it's so
flamboyantly, so grandiosely awful that it wins
a place in Drinkology's otherwise unforgiving heart."
While the Mai Tai might not be a traditional and gentile "cocktail", it is still (in my own opinion) a very good drink, and when properly made, worthy of respect. Coming from such a big cocktail snob as myself, that says something.

But ok, everybody has a right to their own opinion, and if this guy doesn't like a Mai Tai, that's fine. Since he is dissing it so strongly, he's probably a real stickler for the real traditional cocktails, so let's take a look at his Old Fashioned.
"...And we hold with those upstarts who recommend
using soda in the drink.
Read more ›
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