On Our Shelves Now
The newly updated edition of David Wondrich’s 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 more than 100 punches, cocktails, sours, fizzes, toddies, slings, and other essential drinks, along with detailed historical and mixological notes.
The first edition, published in 2007, won a James Beard Award. Now updated with newly discovered recipes and historical information, this new edition includes the origins of the first American drink, the Mint Julep (which Wondrich places before the American Revolution), and those of the Cocktail itself. It also provides more detail about 19th century spirits, many new and colorful anecdotes and details about Thomas's life, and a number of particularly notable, delicious, and influential cocktails not covered in the original edition, rounding out the picture of pre-Prohibition tippling.
This colorful and good-humored volume is a must-read for anyone who appreciates the timeless appeal of a well-made drink-and the uniquely American history behind it.
About the Author
David Wondrich is one of the world’s foremost authorities on cocktails and their history, and one of the founders of the current craft cocktail movement. Esquire’s long-time Cocktail Correspondent, he also writes for a host of other magazines on the subject, and when he’s not writing about it, he’s probably lecturing on it—or resting his liver. Dr. Wondrich holds a Ph.D. in comparative literature, is the winner of five Tales of the Cocktail Spirit Awards for his writing and is a partner in Beverage Alcohol Resource, the world’s leading advanced education program in spirits and cocktails. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
"This isn't just nostalgia or hipster, artisanal stuff or tongue-in-cheek. David Wondrich is a serious historian that recognized that an American art form had been interrupted in its prime. And it would actually take serious painstaking work to revive it...Because of him, more than because of anybody else, we are in the midst of a national renaissance, something that we by right own as a country."
"David Wondrich is a such an envy-producing polymath that it drives me to drink. Brilliant historian, beautiful writer, former punk rocker, absinthe-maker, mixological marvel, and perhaps, yes, even WIZARD. Plus he can grow an amazing beard. There are few people in the world I rely on to be so authoritative and so entertaining all at once, and to mix an amazing cocktail at the same time. And those few people are DAVID WONDRICH."
—John Hodgman, author of The Areas of My Expertise
"[Jerry] Thomas finally gets his due in Imbibe!....Mr. Wondrich puts the drinks in context, with their ingredients explained, their measurements accurately indicated, and their place in the overall cocktail scheme clearly mapped out. At the same time, Thomas himself appears, for the first time, as a living presence: a devotee of bare-knuckle prize fights, a flashy dresser fond of kid gloves, an art collector, a restless traveler usually carrying a fat wad of bank notes and a gold Parisian watch. A player, in short."
—William Grimes, The New York Times
"This book will leave you shaken and, I hope, stirred. Wondrich, one of the top spirits writers in the country, delves into the rich and fascinating history of mixology in America."
"Imbibe brings back the delicious forgotten cocktails created by a pioneering American bon vivant....This book is a model for food history writing....[Wondrich is] always an enjoyable writer, curious, eager, mildly opinionated and with a taste for the amusing."
—The Los Angeles Times
"Cocktail connoisseurs and history buffs will find this book an essential addition to their reference libraries."
—The San Francisco Chronicle
"Wondrich offers what amounts to a history of industrial-age America writ in booze, covering everything from punches, fizzes, and sours to toddies, slings, and juleps."
—Saveur, Top Ten Reads
"How and why America rose to world preeminence in mixology is explained zestfully in Imbibe!."
"With Imbibe!, David Wondrich's biography of 19-century mixologist Jerry Thomas, cocktails do the time warp."
—New York Daily News
"Wondrich delivers a well-researched chronicle of "Professor" Jerry Thomas's life and times as late 19th-century bartender extraordinaire...a lovely homage to Thomas's indomitable spirits."
"David Wondrich has drunk his way through two centuries of American cocktails and other mixed drinks. He emerges to tell us, with clarity and wit, what he encountered, how it was made. and how to make it now. In his recreations of the drinks of yesteryear, he stops at nothing, even growing his own snakeroot to make Jerry Thomas' Bitters. Thomas was called "the Professor" in his day. If this title belongs to any living expert on the cocktail, it belongs to Wondrich."
—Lowell Edmunds, author of Martini, Straight Up