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Goodcooking.com Cookbook Review---

Cover

Title: Cocktails A Global History
Author: Joseph M. Carlin 2012
135 pages; Hardcover $18 US / £ 9.99
Publisher: Reaktion Books Lt. London, UK
Reviewed by, Chef John Vyhnanek


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The review---

B-52 WarplaneCocktails, A Global History

I read Cocktails: A Global History by Joseph M. Carlin in about 90 minutes. It was fun to read and packed with a lot of information, pictures and reprints of some historic sketches, all dealing with crafted alcoholic beverages. It really hit home—literally! Let me explain: the "Cocktail" is said to have been invented in Hudson New York. “Cocktail” was mentioned in 1806 in the Hudson newspaper the Balance and Columbian Repository. Well if you know about Hudson pre-1970’s then you know of its whaling and sailing days and the old Front Street bars and breweries! I do, as I grew up there: My mother was a public school teacher in Hudson for 30 years, my first years of school were in Hudson and my first job as a paper boy was there too!

Mr. Carlin's book is full of details and puts one's mind in a spell of amusement and thought. From some historic prints of the seventeenth and eighteenth century he sets his tale. The references he lists and all he read to write this little book are astounding, where did he find the time to do this? This isn't your average book either; it's amusing and a book every bartender should read, it's also a history lesson worthy of being a textbook! I can't wait to test my newfound knowledge of an unsuspecting soul when they ask me about anything on this subject.

Before the cocktail there was punch, a labor of love of the colonial era and grog, a diluted rum drink. In the taverns of old came Dutch gin and French brandy along with citrus of the Caribbean and nutmeg from the Spice Islands. Corn whisky was popular in the mid eighteen hundreds and Russian vodka appeared in the late 1880's. It was time to rock and roll, so to speak. Into the roaring 20's we went, only to cool off during prohibition.

Well enough is enough, if I say more you won't buy the book, which by all means you should do! As I said earlier, it's just terrific and will make a great conversation piece when left on your coffee table for a guest to pick up and browse. In addition to the reprints of some historic sketches there are many great pictures dealing with cocktail art which were captured by the author.

What a great little amusing gift to give to someone!

Mojito, A Cuban Rum Drink 
The Mojito, along with other Latino cocktails, is currently enjoying a newfound popularity.
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