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The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book (Classic Cocktail Books series) Hardcover – June 27, 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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From the Publisher

A post-prohibition collection of pre-prohibition drink recipes based on the bar manual of the Waldorf-Astoria bar. This is a must have for anyone who has or indulges in the finer things in life.

About the Author

<DIV>Albert Stevens was a noted historian of the Waldorf-Astoria during the days of prohibition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 178 pages
  • Publisher: New Day Publishing; REPRINT 1935 edition (June 27, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0974325902
  • ISBN-13: 978-0974325903
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #829,550 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

This is a unique book. It will give you much pleasure to read a brief and humorous history of the Prohibition years in America, with a collection of pre and post-prohibition cocktail drunk at the old Waldorf Bar, followed by a listing of pre-war mixed drinks. For each drink, you are treated with a delightful and humorous anecdote that will make great cocktail conversation.
For historians, there is a brief explanation of the origin and meaning of names given to each drink.
This book will make a great gift for anyone who appreciates a drink at cocktail time.
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Albert Crockett's The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book belongs on the shelf of any curious mixologist or cocktail enthusiast. This version is basically a reprint and repackaging of the original 1935 (1934?) edition. The quality of the typefaces and illustrations is pretty decent and the hardcover binding is great. For $10 this is a real value!

Mr. Jasper's review seems to miss one key element: Yes Mr. Crockett sounds a bit old and crusty and like he's telling your grandfather's stories...this book was published in 1935! Not only that, his assumed title on the first page is "Historian of the Old Waldorf-Astoria." And yes, by no means is this a good book for those wishing to mix modern drinks for a run-of-the-mill bar crowd. There are countless others out there for that purpose. However, it is an excellent read on the origin of modern cocktails, and spins some intriguing stories of the pre-Prohibition era. Perhaps it will inspire modern imbibers to seek out things like orange bitters, Benedictine, and a complement of glassware. Oh and by the way, Mr. Crockett recommends rye whiskey for the Manhattan. ;)

A related book (written 60 years later or so) is the excellent Cocktail: The Drinks Bible for the 21st Century (Harrington, Moorhead). It contains small essays on all the classic coktails as well recipes, background information, mixing techniques, etc. For some reason this book is still out of print, leading to ridiculous prices of $65 or more in the used market. If you can't score a copy you can read most of it at the Hotwired Cocktailtime web site.
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This beautifully reproduced book brings back a joyful recollection of history wrapped around the practical drink recipes that all my friends enjoy while I make them drinks in my home bar.
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What a fantastic book. It is a great size, not bulky and small enough to fit in a large jacket pocket. It does come with a dust sleeve. As the synopsis of the book says, it has not only recipes but antidotal stories to go alongside the specific drinks but also just cocktail history in general. The history it provides is a first hand account of turn of the century drinking. I was just enthralled by that fact.

The recipes are also great, although antique in their ingredients. I have dog eared and made notation of drinks that I could use in a daily basis, but really some of these drinks require speciality liquors. Which of course is just motivation to increase my bar collection.

Be ready to buy Orange Bitters if you haven't already!

One of my best purchases on amazon.com in awhile.
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Extremely cool book, many of the cocktail recipes are from the old movie era along with the established favorites, very easy reading.
A must have for any "barkeep" .
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