Straight Up or On the Rocks: The Story of the American Cocktail

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9780865476011: Straight Up or On the Rocks: The Story of the American Cocktail
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The first comprehensive account of the cocktail, newly revised and expanded

The cocktail is as old as the nation that invented it, yet until this entertaining and authoritative account, its story had never been fully told. William Grimes traces the evolution of American drink from the anything-goes concoctions of the Colonial era to the frozen margarita, spiking his meticulously researched narrative with arresting details, odd facts, and colorful figures.

After exploring the proto-cocktails of the early nineteenth century, Grimes tracks the rise of the saloon and the bartender, and the spread of the American cocktail to Europe; the golden age of the cocktail, from 1880 to 1920, when classics such as the Bronx, Manhattan, martini, and daiquiri came into being; the Jazz Age and the subterranean world of the speakeasy; the post-Prohibition lull and the Cold War landscape of cocktails that followed; the strange efflorescence of a Polynesian-influenced lounge culture; and the recent resurgence that has produced a wave of exciting new drinks. (The martini, of course, gets a chapter of its own.) The book includes about one hundred recipes-half of them new for this edition-for both classics and innovations.

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About the Author:

William Grimes is the restaurant critic for the New York Times. He lives in Astoria, Queens.

From Booklist:

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 Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Grimes, William
Published by North Point Press (2001)
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Grimes, William
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