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Field Guide to Cocktails: How to Identify and Prepare Virtually Every Mixed Drink at the Bar Paperback – July 1, 2005

4.6 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rob Chirico is a bartender, writer, and drinks enthusiast living in Greenfield, Massachusetts. His writing has appeared in the magazine Gastronomica.
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Product Details

  • Series: Field Guide
  • Paperback: 313 pages
  • Publisher: Quirk Books (July 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594740631
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594740633
  • Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 1 x 5.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,152,484 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R. M. Flynn on December 28, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've now bought two copies for myself (one to use, one autographed to be shown off!) and five for friends and relatives. The content is extensive (if you can't find it here, you probably shouldn't be drinking it!), the style is both witty and clear enough for the rankest amateur. Following is one recipe and description: see for yourself! (The following is ©2004, Rob Chirico, used by permission)

General Description:
Every so often a simple relaxing drink comes along with an equally carefree name. The Zombie is not one. The name conjures up such bygone film stars as Karloff and Lugosi with good reason. The nine-odd ingredients in a Zombie make for a lethal brew that is more the product of a mad scientist than a bartender.

The first Zombie was created by Ernest Raymond Beaumont-Gant (who for some obscure reason was called "Don the Beachcomber") in the 1930s as a hangover cure for a patron at Don's Los Angeles bar. The fellow returned to the bar a few weeks later, and Don asked him how he liked the drink. The customer replied, "I felt like the living dead." The Zombie went on to become the signature drink at the Hurricane Bar at the 1939 World's Fair in New York, and Trader Vic featured it on his menu. It has since become a standard drink at Chinese restaurants, where it continues to transform jovial patrons into the moribund characters of a George Romero flick. The addition of 151-proof rum likens the Zombie to a postmortem in a glass.

Purchase: Anywhere you spy a tiki statue, a paper drink parasol, or sticks of bamboo, you will find a Zombie lurking. Beware the dreaded premixed Zombie.

You may want to think twice before you order one of the world's most lethal cocktails, because you may not be able to think at all afterward.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
Wow ! They said its the only "mixology" I'll ever need and they're right! OUTSTANDING ! Unlike most of these guides, it reads almost like a novel. Packed with interesting discussions of the myths surrounding famous drinks with just enough dry humor to put one in the mood for testing a new concoction. This book would have been standard equipment in the glovebox of every Earl's Shooting Brake!

For novice and professional alike, this is the barkeeps Rosetta Stone !
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Format: Paperback
What a find! This compact, yet comprehensive guide is the best source for mixed drinks I have seen. The recipes have been thoroughly researched and clearly presented for both the expert and novice mixologist. Mr. Chirico intersperses his descriptions of each drink and its origins with his own "wry" comments -- he is both informative and witty. The book includes icons so you know what you need to prepare each drink as well as information about liquor, bar tools, and techniques. I have been working my way through my favorite recipes and have not been disappointed. (I have not tried the Jell-o shot, but the James Bond Martini is a winner!)
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book for my dad, and everyone at the party thought it was a great book. Not only are the recipes easy to follow but the stories and histories that go along with the recipes are really funny.

I'd reccommend this book for anyone who has an interest not only in cocktails, but in having a good laugh as well.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This guide is fun to read and is packed with information - the history of various cocktails, etc. You can go as fancy or simple as you want when deciding to make cocktails at home. It even suggests which season a specific cocktail would be most appropriate for.
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Format: Paperback
First, I heartily agree with the prior positive reviews. As a former bartender myself, when my daughter found herself assigned as a bartender at her catering company I wanted her to have a handy reference guide. This book does a great job filling the bill. In my opinion, the best thing about this book is that it is organized alphabetically by drink names. Many other bartending/mixology books make the mistake of organizing by ingredients (e.g. Vodka Drinks, Bourbon Drinks, Gin Drinks, etc.). As my daughter pointed out, if you don't know what's IN the drink, how can you look up the recipe? If someone orders a Manhattan and you don't have the faintest idea what the ingredients are, how would you look it up in those books organized by ingredients? In this book, you simply look up "Manhattan." And I very much agree with those who have praised the historical notes on origins of the various drinks. These informational tidbits add to the enjoyment of creating the cocktail. Today, so many young bartenders assume you need a blender to make a Daiquiri or that if you add chocolate syrup, cherries and whipped cream to vodka and vermouth that it's still a called a Martini. This book not only provides instructions on how to make drinks, it also educates the reader on what MAKES a particular concoction the drink that it is. Example: "The Manhattan" - made with Rye whiskey....make it with Scotch and it becomes a "Rob Roy." If you're making a Martini and you substitute a cocktail onion for the olive, the "Martini" becomes a "Gibson." In summary, this book is all you'll ever need to meet the vast majority of cocktail orders that may come your way. Oh, and my daughter says the many color pictures of drinks are "way helpful."
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