Friday, November 10, 2023

The First Bartender's Guide

How to Mix Drinks Preface image of man holding a drink as a muse emerges from a bottle
Drinking has been around pretty much forever, but it took some time before anyone got around to creating a guide for the budding mixologist. In 1862, the publisher Dick & Fitzgerald stepped in to fill the void with How to Mix Drinks, or, The Bon-Vivant's Companion. It has one of those title pages that tells you everything--practically a table of contents. There is an introduction that carefully distances the author, Jerry Thomas, from advocating for the consumption of ardent spirits, but the details inside, as well as the illustration of the sot with a muse emerging from a bottle tell us otherwise.

Title page of How to Mix Drinks
There are lots of great recipes, but we were taken by the list of other publications of the firm with titles like: Hard Words Made Easy; The Mother's Medical Advice; The Art of Conversation; The Ladies' Guide to Beauty; and Every Woman her own Lawyer. Dick & Fitzgerald created a self-help wonderland for the young and naive seeking to make their way in the world. But perhaps the most fitting companion volume to How to Mix Drinks is the must-read Blunders in Behavior Corrected, because, you know after you've been drinking, you might need to correct the blunders in your behavior.

Cover of How to Mix Drinks showing a well-dressed man holding a drink

The binding is a stunner, and this particular book resides in our Bindings Collections. Just ask for Bindings 178 to see it.