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The Old-Fashioned: The Story of the World's First Classic Cocktail, with Recipes and Lore Hardcover – May 13, 2014


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The Old-Fashioned: The Story of the World's First Classic Cocktail, with Recipes and Lore + The Bar Book: Elements of Cocktail Technique + Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All, with Cocktails, Recipes, and Formulas
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (May 13, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607745356
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607745358
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Robert Simonson is such an engaging author that he makes this the perfect book to accompany an easy chair and a well-made Old-Fashioned cocktail . . . An incisive, impeccably researched story of this too often forgotten classic cocktail, resulting in some good rollicking stories that American history is rich in."
John MarianiHuffington Post

About the Author

ROBERT SIMONSON, journalist and author, is one of the leading authorities on spirits and cocktail culture in the United States. Called “our man in the liquor-soaked trenches” by the New York Times, he has written extensively about cocktails, spirits, bars, and bartenders for the Times, as well as GQ, Wine Enthusiast, Wine Advocate, Imbibe, Edible Manhattan and Edible Brooklyn, and Time Out New York. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

More About the Author

I write about cocktails, spirits, bars and bartenders, both past and present. I work primarily for the New York Times, but have also been published in Imbibe, Saveur, Lucky Peach, Wine Spectator, Whiskey Advocate, Edible (Manhattan, Brooklyn & East End), New York magazine and Eater.

Prior to my career as a liquor journalist, I wrote extensively about theatre for many years, for the New York Times, Variety, Time Out New York, The Village Voice and others. I was the editor of Playbill.com from 1998 to 2006. Playbill remains the sole outlet where I still write about theatre. I like to say that a career of theatregoing drove me to a second career in drinking.

I wrote four books about the theatre before publishing my first cocktail book, "The Old-Fashioned: The World's First Classic Cocktail," in May 2014 (Ten Speed Press). My next book will be "The Modern Classics," a cultural history of the modern cocktail renaissance.

A native of Wisconsin, I have lived in New York for more than 25 years--most of those years in Brooklyn--with my wife and son. My apartment is filled with bottles, and their number grow every day.

Customer Reviews

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It was a great Father's day gift!
S H
The Old-Fashioned is a wonderfully crafted book just as its namesake, for it generates a love for this classic cocktail.
Anderson
I recommend this to anyone looking to expand their cocktail knowledge.
Andy Feliciotti

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By I Do the Speed Limit TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover
And the Old-Fashioned surely won't go out of fashion.

For the longest time we drank vodka. Year before last, coming up on the Holiday season, we were searching for a mutual, share-able present for each other--just a token for holiday spirit. We settled on a very expensive bottle of bourbon. Later, we sat in front of the fireplace, snuggled up and sipping; patting ourselves on the back for our wonderful, eye-opening "brown liquor" experience.

After a dozen or so sipping "experiences" with whiskeys and bourbons, we decided to branch out a bit. Oh, we won't ever give up trying new sipping bourbons and whiskeys, but we decided to expand into mixed drinks. Variations on the Old-Fashioned and the Manhattan became our pursuit.

How could we not like this book? It is jam-packed with information, tips, recipes, reminiscence. It is a book to be savored, along with the booze.

I was amazed to see how many recipes and variations were included. Plus the variety of liquors: Chartreuse, Cherry Heering, Eldeflower liqueur, Grand Marnier, to name just a few. There was even a discussion on pear bitters. (I have been experimenting with different bitters lately.)

This would make a beautiful gift, too. Maybe a possible Father's Day present?

*I received a temporary download of this book from the publisher. But this is a book to slowly work through, and a book to refer back to, so we will be purchasing our own copy.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Clay Risen on May 14, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Does a single cocktail deserve an entire book? It does if it's the Old-Fashioned. Journalist Robert Simonson deftly makes the case for why it's not just the oldest of the classic cocktails, but the most important, the ur-drink that cleared the path for everything to come after.

Even still, in less artful hands, a book on a narrow topic like this could easily become repetitive, obsessive, and boring. But Simonson, who writes for a variety of outlets including the New York Times, tells his story well, placing the evolution of the Old-Fashioned within the context of Gilded Age New York, with stopovers in New Orleans, Chicago, and Havana. The second half of the book counts 40 recipes, from classic versions to modern variants, all told with such verve that you'll want to read each one, even if you never touch a jigger.

And while you should never judge a book by its cover, it's worth noting how beautiful this book is designed. It's a compact, jacketless hardcover with the cover art printed directly onto the boards. The endpaper is retro marbled. Throughout the book are beautiful full-color, often full-page photos by Daniel Krieger. The text is printed in an army of fonts, too many for my tastes, but nothing too distracting.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By JUDSON on June 9, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this for my boss who is a big whiskey/ bourbon fan and he absolutely loved it. We flipped through it together and there are some GREAT cocktail recipies. He has already made a few of them. The book is great quality and would make a perfect gift for the whiskey fan in your life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Anderson on July 29, 2014
Format: Hardcover
The Old-Fashioned is a wonderfully crafted book just as its namesake, for it generates a love for this classic cocktail. The book is not simply an enjoyable and informative read but a visual pleasure which makes reading it that much better. After reading the history of this drink through its ups and downs, I was reminded how the Lord has given the good gift of alcohol to make the heart glad. This book is a demonstration of the art, skill, and joy that can be had in enjoying a drink. I have yet to try any of the recipes provided, however, I am sure I will especially since one of them calls for bacon fat-infused bourbon. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wishes to acquire a love for a truly classic cocktail. Read it and enjoy it and then drink an Old-Fashioned in honor of it.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Roochak on May 22, 2014
Format: Hardcover
THE ONION has defined a Martini as "a theoretical, gin-based cocktail that has never been made correctly," and like that drink, the Old-Fashioned isn't so much a recipe as a reflection of the person mixing it. No wonder Simonson could devote an entire (short) book to one beverage.

The lore, which takes us from the early 19th century to Ryan Gosling in CRAZY STUPID LOVE, is fascinating. (It took half a century for brandy- and rum-besotted cocktail fanciers to get over the idea that whiskey was for yokels.) The recipes begin with the standard rye/bourbon Old-Fashioned and spiral into variations calling for everything from tequila to absinthe, reaching a climax with a high wire act for apple brandy, mezcal, and maraschino liqueur. There's something for everyone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By CTB on July 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Simonson’s day job is writing about cocktails for the New York Times so he brings a wealth of knowledge and a wonderful writing style to his favorite drink: The Old-Fashioned. He has done an impressive amount of research into the history of the drink, which he covers in the first 65 pages of the book. The next 93 pages consist of both old recipes and new variations for the Old-Fashioned. If you are a fan of the Old-Fashioned, this is a book you should seriously consider adding to your cocktail library.
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