From Publishers Weekly
With authority and just a hint of snobbery, Wall Street Journal columnist Felten indulges the dedicated drinker with this unwavering, well-informed appreciation of the "secular communion" of a good drink. Chock-full of obscure and fascinating anecdotes, Felten's guide covers cocktail history, culture and craft, featuring appearances by the likes of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Ernest Hemingway (who "ranked 'dry' martini drinking somewhere between bullfighting and big-game hunting in his hierarchy of the manly arts"), Queen Elizabeth II and James Bond, along with a long list of notable bartenders and drink experts. Felten seamlessly interweaves drink recipes with their respective histories, detailing for instance the "culture wars" over the Bronx's paternity before divulging instructions for this near-forgotten gem, "robust enough to have spawned a slew of other solid cocktails" like the Income Tax Cocktail, the Maurice and the Smiler. Felden's wry, almost lyrical writing style is quickly absorbing, like bellying up next to a funny, friendly, knowledgeable career drinker. Quoting the New York Times, Felten asserts that "we should know mixed drinks if we care to be thought cultured"; if that's so, this fun read should turn any unrefined boozehound into a class act.
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"It is a cultural study rather than a technical one, packed with great trivia and hilarious observations..."--Camper English "San Francisco Chronicle "