Drinks

The Joy of Drinking

A vintage bar-book collector reprints the classics

In this classic-cocktail renaissance, it's only fair that we honor those early bartenders who paved the way for Corpse Revivers, Singapore Slings and Sazeracs to eventually make a comeback.

Some bartenders pay their respects by preening 19th-century-style facial hair and perfecting their swizzling skills, but publisher Greg Boehm has cultivated his own sort of homage--by resurrecting and reprinting the bar-book genre's greatest texts.

Beginning with the acquisition of two arcane cocktail guides, the founder of Mud Puddle Books began to cull the most esoteric of bar literature. Now, with more than 2,500 vintage tomes, his New York office has become the largest working cocktail library in the world, where one can often find a researcher or curious barfly seeking elusive recipes and advice.

Not one to hoard his discoveries, Boehm publishes nearly identical replicas of these rarities, which would fit nicely on any modern bartender's shelf. And Mud Puddle's latest releases (below) are the perfect alternative to the handlebar moustache.

World's Drinks and How to Mix Them by Hon. Wm. Boothby (1908) Originally published in San Francisco, this is the first book to offer recipes for the Sazerac and the Bronx.

Recipes for Mixed Drinks by R. Hugo Ensslin (1916) The last important guide published before Prohibition provides a sepia-toned snapshot of cocktail times past.

The Artistry of Mixing Drinks by Frank Meier (1936) This beautiful reproduction from the Ritz Bar in Paris includes the first published mimosa recipe.

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