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How's Your Drink?: Cocktails, Culture, and the Art of Drinking Well Paperback – April 28, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
With authority and just a hint of snobbery, Wall Street Journal columnist Felten indulges the dedicated drinker with this unwavering, well-informed appreciation of the "secular communion" of a good drink. Chock-full of obscure and fascinating anecdotes, Felten's guide covers cocktail history, culture and craft, featuring appearances by the likes of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Ernest Hemingway (who "ranked 'dry' martini drinking somewhere between bullfighting and big-game hunting in his hierarchy of the manly arts"), Queen Elizabeth II and James Bond, along with a long list of notable bartenders and drink experts. Felten seamlessly interweaves drink recipes with their respective histories, detailing for instance the "culture wars" over the Bronx's paternity before divulging instructions for this near-forgotten gem, "robust enough to have spawned a slew of other solid cocktails" like the Income Tax Cocktail, the Maurice and the Smiler. Felden's wry, almost lyrical writing style is quickly absorbing, like bellying up next to a funny, friendly, knowledgeable career drinker. Quoting the New York Times, Felten asserts that "we should know mixed drinks if we care to be thought cultured"; if that's so, this fun read should turn any unrefined boozehound into a class act.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
In these desperate times of apple-tinis, Red Bull and vodka, and low-carb beer, Hows Your Drink? is a welcome and bracing tonic, a triumphant manifesto on cocktailing with style packed with more yarns and lore than a battalion of bartenders. Salut!Ted Allen from Top Chef, Iron Chef America, and Uncorked: Wine Made Simple
"This brand new book is fun, engaging read and a must-have for any cocktail fan."
--Jimmy Patrick"mixographer.com" (12/03/2007)
"Felten is like those legendary barflies who always have a good story on hand: He has a casual yet authoritative voice, a relaxing lilt to his sentences, and he always knows where to put the punch line."
--David Tamarkin"TimeOut Chicago" (11/29/2007)
"The book is a fascinating profile of a few select drinks and a great read for anyone interested in the Cocktails, Culture, and the Art of Drinking Well (a most appropriate subtitle)."--Colleen Graham"About.com: Cocktails" (10/01/2007)
"Not only does it supply a wonderful palette of cocktail recipes, but great stories to go with them and clues for research after it - be it the book or a party, is all over."--Chris Carlsson"Spirits Review" (11/01/2007)
"It is a cultural study rather than a technical one, packed with great trivia and hilarious observations..."--Camper English"San Francisco Chronicle" (11/09/2007)
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The recipes provided are nice punctuation marks to the stories surrounding them. Perhaps the best recipes are the ones where Felten demonstrates that the drink should be made to the cocktailian's taste, such as with the old-fashioned when he proclaims, "Garnish with orange and cherry (or don't) and the other lemon peel." Beyond that, though, they offer nothing especially spectacular, and that's a good thing. Like the bitters cutting through a slightly sweet cocktail, the recipes provide a reasonable balance, answering the question just in time, as you read and wonder how to make the delicious concoction described.
Not a cocktail recipe book, although many are present, it's is an introduction to the history of the mixed drink. Full of stories about the cities I love from Boston, to Philadelphia and beyond it's a tour of how to have a civilized drink.
Exploring the history of many favorite mixed drinks, and the heritage of the "cocktail" itself, including detailed recipes and instructions ... yet a book so readable that one takes it in with a continuous draught. Not a dipping book at all, but a cover-to-cover read that is quite as delicious as many a cocktail.