When a shot of single-malt Scotch just doesn't make the right preprandial libation, there's always a martini, Manhattan, or other traditional American cocktail to settle the nerves after a long day's labor. The New York Times
restaurant critic, William Grimes, offers an update of his 1993 Straight Up or On the Rocks
, a brief history of the cocktail, from its rise during the nation's colonial period through the invention of overwrought, fey potables at the close of the twentieth century. King of all cocktails, the martini earns a full chapter of its own. This classic combination of gin, vermouth, and olive exists in a countless array of variations of each ingredient and its relative proportion to the whole. Perhaps because of this flexibility, the martini has endured as other once equally popular cocktails have disappeared. Grimes provides formulas for martinis and for a host of other mixed drinks, making the book useful as a bar guide for dozens of classic concoctions. Grimes' sophisticated writing combines with his thorough scholarship to mirror the mixology he documents. Mark KnoblauchCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
"Grimes ... has written a perceptivem informative and sometimes amusing account of the shifts and swings in American drinking fashions."
-The New York Times