Whoever drinks beer, he is quick to sleep; whoever sleeps long, does not sin; whoever does not sin, enters Heaven! Thus, let us drink beer!—Martin Luther, Protestant Reformer.

Classic Cocktail Guides and Retro Bartender Books

A Bar at the Folies Bergeres by Edouard Manet.

A Bar at the Folies-Bergère by Édouard Manet. The woman in the painting is known to be a real bartender, Suzon, who worked at the Folies-Bergère in the 1880s. The beer bottles along the bar are clearly Bass Pale Ale, identified by the prominent red triangle on the label. This inclusion of an English beer rather than a German brand has often been interpreted as an example of the anti-German sentiment in France immediately following the Franco-Prussian War. We used this painting for the cover of our classic reprint of Leo Engel’s book American and Other Drinks—Recipes for Making the Principal Beverages Used in the United States and Elsewhere.

When I was an undergraduate English major at the University of Iowa, I learned the words to the “Hawkeye Victory Polka,” which is based on the German Im Himmel gibt’s kein bier (In Heaven There Is No Beer), at my first Hawkeye football game: “In Heaven there is no beer, that’s why we drink it here. And when we’re gone from here, our friends will be drinking all the beer!” It was the start of my infatuation with old drinking songs and classic cocktails. It’s with pleasure I now introduce to you the Classic Cocktail Guides and Retro Bartender Books series, facsimile reprints of some of my favorite, hard-to-find mixology books. Enjoy! — Joanne Asala, Editor

American and Other Drinks

Leo Engel

Leo Engel tended bar at the Criterion Hotel in London, where he no doubt mixed these fine drinks for his patrons.

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Beverages and Sauces of Colonial Virginia

Laura S. Fitchett

In Colonial America, drinking beer, wine, and spirits was believed to be safer than drinking water. Find out what Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and George Washington would have imbibed instead.

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Cocktails: How to Make Them

Livermore and Knight

Cocktails: How to Make Them was originally published by the Livermore and Knight Company in 1898.

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Cups and Their Customs

Henry Porter and George Edwin Roberts

Cups and Their Customs, originally published in 1863, is a tantalizing collection of drinking lore and legend with several dozen recipes for cups and other tasty beverages as they were served in the mid-nineteenth century.

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Daly's Bartenders' Encyclopedia

Tim Daly

Daly's Bartenders' Encyclopedia is a delightful collection of cocktails served in the early 20th century.

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Jack’s Manual of Fancy Mixed Drinks and How to Serve Them

J. A. Grohusko

A facsimile reprint of the 1910 edition, including all the original advertisements for wine and spirits.

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Modern American Drinks

George J. Kappeler

Kappeler’s book is considered by many cocktail connoisseurs to be one of the most important mixology books of the nineteenth century. It includes dozens of drink recipes that had never been previously published.

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Nineteenth-Century Cocktail Creations

George Winter

George Winter's collection, originally released in 1884, includes nineteenth-century versions of such classics as the Manhattan, the Mint Julep, and the Tom Collins, as well as less-familiar creations, such as the Hot Scotch Whiskey Sling and the Rum Sour.

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One Hundred and One Drinks as They Are Mixed

Kuenzle and Streiff

Prohibition may have put a damper on celebrations in the United States, but there were other parts of the world where the party was still going strong.

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Oxford Night Caps

Richard Cook

For nearly a century, between 1835 and 1931, the venerable Oxford University in England published a collection of cocktails and beverages enjoyed by the student population. We have selected the 1871 edition for our reprint series.

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Straub's Manual of Mixed Drinks

Jacques Straub

A complete facsimile of the 1913 edition.

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Stuart's Fancy Drinks and How to Mix Them

Thomas Stuart

An exceptional collection of delicious classic cocktails, including multiple ways of serving absinthe, champagne, gin, beer, and whiskey.

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The Complete Bartender

Albert Barnes

Includes instructions for how to be a good bartender.

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The Ideal Bartender

Tom Bullock

Tom Bullock was the first African-American to compile a cocktail guide, published in 1917.

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The Twentieth-Century Guide for Mixing Fancy Drinks

James C. Maloney

From absinthe frappes to whiskey cocktails and everything in between, you'll find it all in The Twentieth-Century Guide for Mixing Fancy Drinks.

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What to Drink: Non-Alcoholic Drinks and Cocktails Served During Prohibition

Bertha E. L. Stockbridge

When the 18th Amendment brought an end to alcohol consumption in the United States, hosts across the country were at a loss as to what to serve their guests. Bertha E. L. Stockbridge came to the rescue with this collection of tasty non-alcoholic drinks.

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