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Vintage Cocktails: Retro Recipes for the Home Mixologist Hardcover – November 1, 2011

4.9 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Amanda Hallay is a writer, cultural historian, and trend analyst. She was born in America, grew up in England, and spent time in Paris working as a fashion writer. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

David Wolfe was England’s leading fashion illustrator for two decades. His distinctive sketches graced the pages of British Vogue and the London Sunday Times. He now resides in New York and Connecticut.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing; 1 edition (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616083948
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616083946
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 6.7 x 6.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,033,236 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By EMS on October 18, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
This is one of those books chocked full of helpful recipes that is actually fun to read cover-to-cover, which is rare. Ms. Hallay tells a tale about each drink - whether it is about its history, its place in popular culture, or a funny personal anecdote. Each are written with a ton of British whimsy, that made me grin and chuckle, if not laugh out loud. The tale of how her male friend managed to order Grasshoppers without seeming less manly is hilarious!

With so many "mixologists" out there these days who are so stodgy and serious about drinks, I was starting to think that drinking had become as much of an ordeal as art appraisal. Ms. Hallay puts mixed drinks back in their proper context - it's all about having fun, sipping on something you like, and letting the flavors carry you to an era past and/or an exotic locale. The hand-drawn illustrations underscore that point.

This isn't to say that it's all story and light on the actual drink recipes. This one has a TON of them. No, it doesn't include fairly modern concoctions for frat boys and sorority girls. But in terms of vintage cocktails, there were a ton I had never heard of, but sound great, and probably should be brought back into regular rotation.

Even for the casual drinker, this is a great book to have on hand. It has tons of drink recipes to spice up a party, or order at a bar for a change of pace. But most of all, it is fun to read all the way through. Though I got it for myself, it will be on top of my list to give as a gift.
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Format: Hardcover
I was looking for a gift for my 'Mad Men' obsessed best friend, found this book, started thumbing through it, and had to buy a copy for my friend AND for myself! I have never read anything like it! Alternating between hilarious personal anecdotes and pop culture history, each cocktail comes with its own, individual story, the end result being an explosive rant against 'The New Sobriety' and how everyone now acts like a big, scared baby whenever they hear the word 'booze'! Hallay's is something of a comic genius, her sardonic sarcasm cutting through the usual BS as she delivers cocktail after cocktail, many with an appropriate caricature of the author that ties in with the drink in question. What I loved best was the sheer joy the author seemed to have when writing this book. Not afraid to be silly, Hallay pokes fun at absolutely everyone (from hipsters to Rupert Holmes) but mostly at herself, and her obsessive penchant for bygone days. I think I will be gifting this book a LOT come Christmas. If your family or friends have a sense of humor, then they're sure to love this unique take on the ubiquitous recipe book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A lovely little recipie book that adds the charm of the author's personal style. She at once draws in the reader with her warm yet bubbly personality. Fans of retro cocktails will enjoy this both as a reference and as a pleasant read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bought this as a gift for my husband. We both really enjoy it. Amanda wrote it for the drink recipes and for it to be read. She has a great sense of humor as well. We have made a many of the different drinks (ALL YUMMY of course) and enjoyed them, all while reading the book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not what you'd really expect from a bartenders guide, or any of the like. This book goes beyond that. It brings life and adds character to each cocktail you drink. I love the back stories, they are so much fun to read. I bought this as a gift and had to by another for myself.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While there are several tiki/retro-themed cocktail books out there, this tome is a great combination of recipes and well-written anecdotes & commentary. If one were solely looking for a comprehensive volume of drink recipes, there are probably other books better suited for that purpose, but it is the witty, light-hearted humor that accompanies some of the essential mixtures that make this book stand out. This would make a great companion to anyone's growing library of retro-themed, tiki-influenced mixology books. The book would also be well-suited to readers looking for an introduction to the subject. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
What a wonderful book. Ostensibly about cocktails, although like all good books about cocktails, it's not really about cocktails. For all the usefulness of the practical guides contained here (and they are indeed useful if you own a cocktail shaker and enjoy a drink) it is as much a guide for how to survive that tension to which many of us find ourselves increasingly subject: the urge to re-create the past and the requirement to survive the present. Sweet-tasting solutions for that tricky weave of pragmatism and romance. How to navigate it without the need for tears.

Lurking just below the surface of a scarcely-disguised loathing for, amongst other things, Carrie Bradshaw, Chocolatinis, Cosmopolitans, and people who have never seen Now Voyager, is a genuine affection - beyond simple nostalgia - for a time when cocktails still mattered, Kanye West did not exist, and when if you went out to lunch there was a chance that someone looking a bit like Carey Grant might `take the liberty of ordering you a Cointreau'. Vintage Cocktails is also genuinely funny in places. The pithy exhortation of what to do with a Campari Shakarato (buy the book and read it, uncensored) left me laughing so hard I had to wait a while before continuing. An absurdist riff about the origins of a cocktail called The French Connection is also brilliant. The Knights of the Algonquin get a healthy mention - rightly so - and many times one has the feeling that their spirit is alive and well and in good hands. Dorothy Parker - as much as she ever approved of anything - would approve.
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