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The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; Revised edition (June 1948)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385096836
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385096836
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,138,934 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 24 customer reviews
The overall content of this book is excellent and is beautifully written.
K. Whisler
Original editions of this work, in good shape, sell for a couple of hundred dollars, if you can even find them!
Gavin J. Chart
I'm fairly new to bartending and I really want to gain a wide knowledge of cocktail construction.
Lee

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 55 people found the following review helpful By K. Whisler on December 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The overall content of this book is excellent and is beautifully written. Even though one might not agree with the author on every point it is a very enjoyable read. Rather than just write a cocktail recipe book, Embury lays out his theories on the underlying principles of mixing a good drink and divides them into general categories. It is somewhat similar Gary Regan's excellent "Joy of Mixology" in that sense, but is in some ways more readable and is written from the standpoint of a passionate and gifted amateur rather than of a professional bartender, and I think more encouraging of personal experimentation. I already had Regan's book in my collection when I acquired this one, but I don't feel that one is a replacement for the other.

The book is also fun for the historical perspective it offers. Not only are Embury's observations on Prohibition interesting (he lived through it) some of his recommendations on how to do things are informative in comparison to how they are done today. For example, he suggests getting large cocktail glasses--"no less than 3 ounces"! A typical cocktail glass today is over twice that size, though some cocktail enthusiasts now recommend using smaller glasses for classic styles of cocktails.

As good as this book is, shame on the publisher of this edition for allowing it to go to press with so many typos! Some reviewers charitably suggest that the typos also appeared in the earlier editions. I doubt this; they are the sort of typos one gets from OCR and relying on a word processor to clean up the OCR output, and then not doing a final page proof before going to press. (E.g. missing punctuation, "sued" for "used," page references to page XXX.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Fabrizio Serra on December 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
It appears that the editor of the 2008 edition may have been sampling the recipes while on the job. I was shocked by the number of typos, which can make reading the book a rather frustrating endeavor. In some cases, words are replaced by similar-sounding words, and one must backtrack to make sense of things.

(I don't know exactly how books are published these days, but I assume that a computer is involved and that it should be a simple exercise for a competent proofreader to make corrections using some form of text editor prior to publication. Of course, it is entirely possible that these errors were present in previous editions, but there is no reason why they shouldn't be corrected.)

Nonetheless, we should be grateful that this classic is now available as an affordable and otherwise finely executed reprint.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Casey C. Taylor on November 9, 2003
Format: Paperback
As a certified Master Bartender and (purist), I am honored to recommend Mr. Embury's book, and recommend it indeed on several levels. The details and attitude are all there. This is basic and pure mixology. I have used this book as text to train over forty bartenders, some I'm sure have served you well. I have three copies and will probably buy what more I can find, only to give them away and share in the invaluable knowledge therein.
Read this book, and may you never more suffer an intolorable, insipid cocktail again.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tom Mott on August 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Get this book! Read the other reviews: the only reason this book is getting 4 stars instead of 5 is because of the typos in this edition. Ignore them and get the book. It's a pleasure to read.

Embury is a wonderful writer with a dry wit. He clearly and methodically lays out cocktail basics so you can "roll your own." This isn't a book about chocolate martinis and sour apple martinis: it's old school, taking it cues from the pre-Prohibition era of bartending (1880s - 1920). While some of his own recipes are a bit boozy (like a 7-to-1 gin martini), he gives just not his recipes, but lists other "standard" recipes, critiques them, and then urges you to experiment and find what you like best. In the interest of completeness, he even lists cocktails he thinks are terrible ("... but boys will be boys.")

An aside: A recent web article about making the perfect sidecar found his sidecar to be much too boozy ... a problem they solved simply by adding 1 drop of orange bitters. I have a feeling Embury would fully approve of their meddling.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gavin J. Chart on January 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are many books around about "bartending" or "cocktails", but Embury's TFAoMD (1948) is the definitive work when it comes to mixing drinks, and it was a delight to see that it is back in print. Don't bother with any other books on the subject. Original editions of this work, in good shape, sell for a couple of hundred dollars, if you can even find them!

Not only does Embury describe the principles of a mixed drink, and the equipment that is useful in its preparation, but he also describes each base ingredient, each mixer and how to mix to get the best result. He also provides recipes for six basic cocktails and the practical possibilities in making your own.

There is also a chapter concerning "The Use and Abuse of Liquor", so you could argue that this is even a moral work.

TFAoMD is educational, entertaining, practical and an essential addition to the library of the serious mixologist. Moreover, it is beautifully written. What more could you ask for...?
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