Another Shakespeare-related thing I bought this year was the Shakespeare,not stirred cocktail book in the picture. I had high hopes,alas it didn’t deliver. The women behind this book know their Bard well, but they don’t seem to be as comfortable behind the bar. I don’t know drama but I do know a lot about drinks. Too many of the cocktails are basically “drinkable puns” which just isn’t good enough for me; add a few errors in the making of the drinks and a messy layout? I’ve let it stay on the shelf just for reference but feel it takes up space that can be devoted to something I like.
Tequila mockingbird by Tim Federle did the “drinkable puns” first (on a big scale at least) and then we really don’t need more of that. It’s bad for literature and cocktails alike. I personally don’t like that book but I understand why others do and if you are not a nerd it is very reasonable.
Let’s bring back by Lesley M.M Blume isn’t a cocktail book with a literary twist primarily(more about vintage cocktails) but there is a lot of that in there and it is very good: user friendly, good layout. In fact it’s a good novice cocktail book full stop.
The person that has taken the “books and booze” the furthest is Philip Greene with his To have and have another-a Hemingway drinking companion; a book full of recipes, stories about Hemingway,cocktail lore and cocktails facts. A very good read and I say that as someone who doesn’t like Hemingway’s books all that much ( except A moveable feast) but is fascinated by the man and in awe of all the cocktails he created. On that impressive list of drinks I think The Hemingway Daiquiri to be the best one(or maybe he did’t create it but it was created for him. Still qualifies). You can find instruction here.
So there; a small orientation in cocktail books for book nerds. I have not mentioned The complete imbiber as it is a vintage thing that is hard to find and also I haven’t used or read it much so I’m unsure of the quality. There is an awful lot of stuff about wine in there; of which I only know that I really like champagne.