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Esquire Drinks: An Opinionated & Irreverent Guide to Drinking With 250 Drink Recipes Hardcover – September 1, 2004
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As a source for the origin of specific cocktails, nothing beats David Wondrich's esquire Drinks. In humorous yet informative prose, Wondrich outlines the history of both familiar and old-fashioned cocktails, such as the martini, sloe gin fizz, Moscow mule, sidecar, and between the sheets. Not only do these essays yield helpful answers to reference queries but Wondrich's authoritative cocktail recipes provide the bartender with guides to the original product and to possible variations. An opening essay on ingredients and techniques makes this a requisite volume for the serious mixologist. Mark Knoblauch
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What really made this volume enjoyable and memorable for me -- so much so that I hastened to buy a copy once I had to return my borrowed one -- is the distinctive editorial voice in which the book is written. A lot of the credit, of course, is due to author David Wondrich. But this sort of hard-boiled, slangy, intelligent-but-not-full-of-itself prose has a long history on the pages of Esquire: compare, if you can find a copy, the captions accompanying the classic menswear illustrations in Woody Hochswender's essential "Men In Style." It really reinforces the idea that drinking can be a pleasure for the adult male, worlds away from the excesses of frat house or party bar. Plus, copy that good is always entertaining to read. That makes "Esquire Drinks" worth reading even if none of the drinks it describes ever cross your lips.
Remember "Rule 313: Never order a drink named after a part of the anatomy normally covered by underwear".