Vintage Cocktail Recipe Books

Vanessa at Messy Nessy Chic presents twenty vintage books on liquor and how to prepare it. Some of them are connected with famous venues of the past, while others have wonderful titles such as So Red the Nose, Here's How to be Healthy, Wet Drinks for Dry People, and For Snake Bites -or Something. The covers are notable, too, as they tend toward Art Deco style.  

The oldest is The American Bar-Tender, published in 1874. The alternate title is "The art and mystery of mixing drinks, together with preservations on the quality of wines, liquors, and cigars, to which is attended several hundred toasts, patriotic, firemen's, political, lovers, sporting, etc."

A particularly intriguing volume is Giggle Water, a book published in 1928 New York during Prohibition that tells you how to ferment your own wine and other drinks at home. Many of the books are from the 1930s, when America needed to re-learn how to use legal liquor, instead of just guzzling what they could get.

You'll find an index of these books with links to read them in full at Messy Nessy Chic.

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I've spent the past couple of days (off and on) browsing the entire library. It's bookmarked for further 'study'. That being said, so far nothing has been better than "So Red the Nose". I would buy this book. Well, 70 years ago; now I don't have to. Before I die, I aim to have at least one Death in the Afternoon. Probably two; or maybe four. I dunno. It won't be with the Absinthe of old but dammit, I have to try. . .
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