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Storied Sips: Evocative Cocktails for Everyday Escapes, with 40 Recipes [Kindle Edition]

Erica Duecy , Poul Lange
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $22.99
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Take a trip in a sip, a journey through time and place via the cocktail glass. The libations in this intoxicating collection span some 200 years, from Europe to the Far East, and they're the drinks with the best tales to tell. Because--without a backstory--a cocktail is nothing more than spirits and mixers. But spike that drink with an anecdote about the people, places, and circumstances that influenced its creation, and imbibers are instantly transported. Step into a British officer's club in 1920s Burma to try the Pegu Club, disembark in colonial Bermuda to sample the original Dark & Stormy, or join F. Scott Fitzgerald and Cole Porter at The Ritz Hotel in Paris for a Royal Highball, among the many spirited adventures between these covers.

The book itself is like a classic cocktail, with its iconic, vintage appeal. Mixed media illustrations by award-winning Danish artist Poul Lange feature vintage bottle labels, postcards, and magazine images. The illustrations are matched with simple recipes and deeply researched backstories for a new look at the world's most iconic cocktails.

More than a sum of its parts, Storied Sips is a book about living the good life, treating oneself to a dash of civilized escapism at the end of a busy day. Truly, there's nothing like a cocktail to strip away the dullness of the mundane, gilding an evening with a heightened glow, or adding cultured flair to a get-together with friends. Organized from light-bodied quenchers to rich, complex warmers, Storied Sips makes it easy to find cocktail inspiration any time of the year.

REVIEWS says: “Author Erica Duecy chronicles 200 years of tending bar and the resulting book of tales are a must-read for any cocktail aficionado.”

“Like many other drink books, this one has cocktails along with their stories and recipes. Yet unlike others, this tiny book and its alluring collage-based illustrations is able to transport you to another time, a different era. In just a page or two the writer paints vivid pictures that allow you to hear the music of that moment, smell the smoke in that bar she's speaking of. It's a little magical.” - Maureen Petrosky,

The Village Voice quips: “Other than luxury real estate catalogs that stir-up serious home-envy, I can’t recall reading another book that so made me want to immediately sell my “cozy, charming” apartment and buy a damn house. Why? I need kitchen cabinet space to collect the vintage barware and vessels in which the drinks in this book deserve to be served. Duecy, a first time author and deputy editor of Fodor’s Travel website, recaptures the glamour of classic cocktails by succinctly sharing the exotic, historical origin of each drink, seducing you to immediately take stock of your liquor cabinet and make a grocery list of what’s missing.”

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Erica Duecy is an award-winning writer and editor specializing in Wine & Spirits and Travel. By day, she runs the Fodor’s Travel website as Deputy Editor. At night, Erica writes about cocktails at, and tastes wines and tests cocktail recipes for the luxury alpine travel magazine SNOW (Bonnier), where she was Wine & Spirits Editor for the past six years. For SNOW, Erica has written wine and spirit features ranging from the new generation of Wild West whiskeys to extreme winemaking and skiing in New Zealand, as well documenting hot après-ski cocktail trends around the globe.

Erica is a long-time judge for the James Beard Journalism Awards, and holds an Advanced Certificate from the London-based Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET). She has written for the New York Times, Food & Wine, and numerous other publications, and often speaks about cocktail history at events, including Tales of the Cocktail and the Manhattan Cocktail Classic. For book news, events, and updates, visit

Product Details

  • File Size: 12864 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Reference (October 8, 2013)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,369,684 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Storied Sips... or Sipping Stories January 4, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Okay. Quiz time.

1. Was the margarita named after:

a) a flower
b) Rita Hayworth
c) A Tijuana bar

2. Which came first?

a) the Martinez
b) the Martini
c) Sex on the Beach

3. How did Trader Vic cash in on the tequila craze?

a) with the Maya Tayo
b) with the Tiki Taco
c) with El Diablo

1. During prohibition, Hollywood socialites went to Mexico where a popular libation was a spirit and lemon juice and a liquid sweetener. Someone ultimately made a Daisy with tequila. What's the Spanish name for daisy??? Margarita. And what Rita Hayworth's name? Margarita Cansino,

2. The Martinez came first. However, was the martini really developed from the Martinez. East Coast people say the martini came from the Hoffman House in New York. But the West coast hypothesis, from Gold Rish times. believes that the Martinez was the martini's inspiration.

3. Trader Vic had already brought the Mai to fame, but wanted to cash in on the tequila craze of the late 40s. He came up with El Diablo, which was a blend of tequila, Creme du Cassis, and lime juice.

If you love to mix cocktails and you love to tell stories, this is the book for you. It has impeccable recipes paired with stories of their storied pasts.

Great stories. Great cocktails.

Bottoms up and enjoy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Erica Duecy features recipes for 40 venerable cocktails in her book “Storied Sips”---well she calls them evocative cocktails---and that does make sense as there are many I have not heard of and perhaps some new to you as well.

But, and this is the really fun stuff, she delves into the back story for these cocktails, offering some history of each drinks including its place of origin, famous folks associated with some of these beverages, cultural trappings for the drinks, and changes and variation to the original concoctions.

Before one gets to the goods, Ms. Duecy provides a spirited overview of cocktail history in effusive prose that makes one want to head out and start stocking up essential supplies. For those so inspired, the next section of the book covers bar essentials, including glassware, ingredients, and tools.

The actual recipes are not so involved as to scare off neophytes---the Singapore Sling and Wassail are a bit involved---and the accompanying instructions on making these libations do not require one to have a masters in chemistry or be a master bartender.

So far I have not mentioned the whimsical, charming illustrations Poul Lange has contributed. His collages of old ads, historical ephemera, photographs, and happy people (they are after all having cocktails) grace these brief tales. He also created the graceful calligraphy that serves as chapter titles, adding just the right amount of quirky splash to the book.

This is the sort of book that one needs as an actual book. Electrons on a screen will seem pale and flat in comparison to having the volume on your table or bar. With so many more cocktails to cover, it’s unlikely the author will stop with one book on the subject.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect hostess gift -- gorgeous and entertaining! November 4, 2013
A gorgeous, entertaining book and the perfect holiday hostess gift! The stories are fascinating, clever and fun (who doesn't love a good cocktail anecdote to tell at your next soiree?) The recipes are absolutely delicious. Bottoms up!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Erica Duecy has provided 40 recipes in a well put together spirited little book, Storied Sips: Evocative Cocktails for Everyday Escapes, with 40 Recipes, a book which exceeded my expectations. I have a collection of books on wine and spirits with an assortment on the Kindle, but this is the one that will not be placed on a shelf, but rather in my bar. I have read some of the author's work in other publications and although I like her style for the most part, I love this book. My bartender knows that when I want a bourbon cocktail, my stand by is the Manhattan mixed my way, not the way of the local chain restaurant bar. He also knows that eventually I will make a Sazerac for him, but the bar first needs to obtain a bottle of Rye. What he doesn't know is that I'm bringing in this little book to read aloud to him and anyone else who wants to listen, because the very brief historical description for each drink will make the beverage taste better, I'm sure.

I recommend this book for anyone who is interested in learning about alcoholic concoctions they may have heard referenced in a movie, read about in a novel, or noticed from across a room. The recipes are fine, but the tidbits of history take the cake. The collage artwork provided by Poul Lange is an outstanding complement.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful Little Book of Drinks & their Stories November 30, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This little book does something virtually all current cocktail books do not -- it tells you how the drinks came to be.

A small collection of drinks, you'll learn the stories behind them with short introductions, each accompanied by a multi-media artwork.

The drink recipes are straight and to the point. For many drinks there are recipes for a related drink as well.

The book begins with a short introduction and a chapter on bar essentials. While that chapter does talk about ingredients the best thing about it is the drawing of bar glasses. Each type of proper, i.e. small, glass is labeled with the size included. I'm so glad to see this. With the current trend in glassware for the gargantuan, it's almost impossible to find the right size for a cocktail glass. And that's a shame. Serving drinks in glasses that are too large changes the balance of flavors that's critical to a good cocktail. It also means your drink gets too warm.

I love that the authors respect and delight in the history of cocktails. I just wish there were more stories.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Kind Cocktail Recipe Book
What is my favorite kind of cocktail book, the kind with fun facts and stories. This is a wonderfully made book, nice hardback cover, nice thick pages, and really beautiful... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Rawim
3.0 out of 5 stars Recalls days of yore and cirrhosis
Reading this cocktail book is like watching a Mad Men* marathon. Ah, the good old days: when men were men and alcoholism was acceptable. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Jason Kirkfield
4.0 out of 5 stars Handsome little book captures the romance and style of popular...
In "Storied Sips," Erica Duecy offers a hymn of praise to the cocktail and adds 40-plus recipes and some key cocktail how-to tidbits for good measure. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Scott Schiefelbein
5.0 out of 5 stars best of its kind
As I go through the book trying esch drink I begin t understand their attractions. Erica has done a grest job at picking classic drinks.
Published 16 months ago by JJT
5.0 out of 5 stars The most delicious drink recipes and beautiful artwork
I went to a party where the hostess prepared a dozen cocktails recipes a head of time, put them in glass bottles on ice in tubs. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Micheline Amy
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful stories and recipes
Has histories of cocktails and recipes. Quite an interesting book to keep out on the coffee table - guests can pick it up and find information on their favorite cocktails. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Kayce Cawthon McCarty
4.0 out of 5 stars Thirst for a drink? Or a story?
Storied Sips is a fun book in that it combines recipes for cocktails along with the story behind each drink. Read more
Published 16 months ago by ReneeSuz
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting take on cocktail recipes
This is an unexpectedly interesting book. There are about 40 or so cocktail recipes in it, as well as a great layout and pictures, but what I really like is the stories behind the... Read more
Published 17 months ago by flamingo1325
3.0 out of 5 stars A good gift, but unfortunately not more than that
If you need a gift for someone and you don't know what they want (and they drink) this would be a fine choice. I doubt they would read it, but it looks cute and interesting. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Lisa
4.0 out of 5 stars lacks depth, but still enjoyable
This book is really cute, and would make a good gift for a cocktail aficionado, as long as they aren't too serious about their cocktails. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Julia James
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