A Library for Bartenders
September 5, 2019 1:49 AM   Subscribe

"The bartending profession has a rich and varied history that only recently has come to light during the past two decades. Vintage cocktail and distillation books filled with recipes, techniques, and management procedures are being unearthed and collected at an unprecedented pace." These volumes may be out of the reach of most bartenders, but the EUVS Digital Collection has you covered.

Browse through the catalogue to see their offerings chronologically, beginning with François Massialot's 1712 Nouvelle instruction pour les confitures, les liqueurs et les fruits, or skip ahead to the cocktail manuals from the legendary Sloppy Joe's Bar in Havana (1931, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1936, 1939). You might also dive into the full library of vintage cocktail books, including many more scanned and fully readable volumes than have been featured on the Digital Collection's website.

Some more highlights:

Cups & Their Custom (1863) by Henry Porter and George Roberts, which takes a stand against the intrusion of vulgar American 'sensation-drinks' and includes in its first few pages an etymological discursion about drinking from the skulls of slain enemies.

The Bar-Tender’s Guide or How to Mix Drinks by Jerry Thomas (1862, 1887), whose 1887 edition begins with a list of 27 Hints and Rules for Bartenders. "Ice must be washed clean before being used, and then never touched with the hand, but placed in the glass either with an ice-scoop or tongs." The 1876 second edition (not available here) included one of the first recipes for the Brandy Daisy, and by 1887 we find not only that, but also the Whiskey Daisy, Santa Cruz Rum Daisy and Gin Daisy.

Bacchus Behave! by Alma Whitaker (1933), a witty reintroduction to drinking manners for Americans emerging out of Prohibition. The link is currently down, but you can read the full book here (PDF).

The EUVS itself is the Exposition Universelle des Vins & Spiritueux, a "complete and permanent encyclopaedia" of the world's spirits begun in 1958, now including over 2700 unopened bottles classified into 35 different types.
posted by daisyk (11 comments total) 39 users marked this as a favorite
This is what happened when I tried to join in with Post Your Animal Month. A cocktail is sort of like an animal, right?
posted by daisyk at 1:51 AM on September 5, 2019 [6 favorites]

Uhhh, wow. This is a mindblowing collection, never knew it existed. Thanks so much for posting this!
posted by jeremias at 4:19 AM on September 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

This is curated by my friends Jared and Anistatia, responsible for many things in the spirits/cocktails world including the outstanding Sipsmith gins.
posted by slkinsey at 5:40 AM on September 5, 2019 [7 favorites]

I still think fondly of Hoover and Brémany, whoever they were.
posted by zamboni at 5:59 AM on September 5, 2019

I am in the virtual room with someone who knows the folks who brought us Sipsmith. I may swoon. No, wait, I have swooned.
posted by crush at 7:42 AM on September 5, 2019

Speaking of paper and cocktails, I quite liked this papercraft illustration of cocktail ingredients project.
posted by zamboni at 7:52 AM on September 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

Thanks to the internet, there are now so many recipes available, so many people learning! Enjoy this golden age of human bartending... while it lasts.
Bartending students speak out against MGM robots
posted by otherchaz at 11:36 AM on September 5, 2019

crush: If you haven't tried the V.J.O.P (very junipery over proof) and sloe gins from Sipsmith, do so immediately. The sloe gins are particularly interesting because they are released in vintage years and the sloeberries are different every year. I was recently able to taste several different vintages side-by-side and there were striking differences.
posted by slkinsey at 1:36 PM on September 5, 2019

This is why I’m on Metafilter.
posted by Muddler at 2:12 PM on September 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

Always enjoyed this oldy drinks guide.

A1 sheet
posted by Vroom_Vroom_Vroom at 3:50 AM on September 14, 2019

Did you see that someone redid it in a vector version?
posted by zamboni at 1:11 PM on September 14, 2019

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