November 2, 2014 / by admin / American History / No Comments

Imbibe!: From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to "Professor" Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar

Imbibe!: From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to "Professor" Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar

David Wondrich

Language: English

Pages: 248

ISBN: 2:00080347

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


A lively, historically informed, and definitive guide to classic American cocktails.

Cocktail writer and historian David Wondrich presents the colorful, little-known history of classic American drinks-and the ultimate mixologist's guide-in this engaging homage to Jerry Thomas, father of the American bar.

Wondrich reveals never-before-published details and stories about this larger- than-life nineteenth-century figure, along with definitive recipes for 100 punches, cocktails, sours, fizzes, toddies, slings, and other essential drinks, plus twenty new recipes from today's top mixologists, created exclusively for this book.

This colorful and good-humored volume is a mustread for anyone who appreciates the timeless appeal of a well-made drink-and the uniquely American history behind it.

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the Jockey Club were in the same building.) CON: Gin and vermouth went into the annals of mixology as a Martini, not a Turf Club. Also, as the drink’s popularity grew, nobody ever stepped forward to claim the drink for the Turf Club. (On the other hand, the use of Martini vermouth might have affected the name; see the Judge Martine Theory. Also, the early dissolution of the Turf Club would’ve helped to take the name out of circulation. And if Thomas Burnett, the club’s head bartender, was

popularity. Things were happening in the boonies as well, particularly as rum began its long decline from its perch as America’s spirit of choice and Pennsylvania’s old Monongahela rye and old Bourbon from Kentucky began to come into their own. THE BAROQUE AGE (1830-1885) In the fifteen-odd years between Jerry Thomas’s birth and his apprenticeship behind the bar, the profession of barkeeper changed utterly. Not everywhere, of course. The land was still infested with a vast profusion of

only obtained after long practice, was evidently a source of professional pride. I shouldn’t wonder. Ten or twelve tosses and the drink was mixed, and all without spilling a drop—or rather, as one barfly of the day observed, at least without seeming to. Although spectacular, this method did have its drawbacks. For one thing, as can be readily ascertained by a few minutes spent with a couple of Old-Fashioned glasses and some ice water, it was damned difficult to do well, and damned messy to

of the age: While sailing down that river on a sloop, forty of the crew died of cholera, leaving Thomas to bury their bodies on shore and pursue his melancholy voyage to the coast. When all responsibility was over he took the cholera in a malignant form, but recovered. Whether it was the cholera or some other reason, in early 1852, as nearly as we can determine, Thomas decided he’d had enough of El Dorado and headed back East. This time, he could travel the easy way. Somehow or other,

perhaps New Orleans, hotels in Portland, and God knows what else. “Fussy little Louis” was a wise choice. Under his stewardship, the massive five-acre pile of a hotel became “a far-famed rendezvous for round-the-world travelers,” one of those cardinal outposts of Western culture around which the amorphous, cosmopolitan mass of steamship-borne moneyed vagabonds bent their endless paths. For almost two decades, Eppinger greeted guests, “haunt[ed] the markets for delicacies,” planned menus (the

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