Four exceptional reprints that showcase how we used to imbibe
by David Graver in Food + Drink on 31 July 2014
Currently, there is a classic cocktail revival occurring; bartenders are once again revered as artists and flavors become the palette for one's palate. But what are these classic cocktails being revived? Where do their roots begin? How did those before us knock them back? Turns out, there are a few books out there with the answers. Between 1862 and the 1930s, the world looked to several select guides for cocktail-making and etiquette of the times. Some are recipe books, while others contextualize cocktails within a deeper history and, for those looking to find out where punch originated or how whiskey built up its reputation, the following four options are intriguing—and what readers will find within is still worth a sip today.
The Flowing Bowl: What and When To Drink
Originally penned in 1891, by an author who refers to himself as The Only William (actually William Schmidt), "The Flowing Bowl: What and When to Drink" promises full instructions on how to prepare, mix and serve beverages. And yet, it delivers that and more. Within the pages—which were digitized from an original—not only will readers find the histories of beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea and even water, but how they are (and should be) used. A deep ethnography that is both interesting and deeply entertaining.
To this day, Schmidt's wit shines through. The book contains sample menus and concludes with plentiful and diverse mixed drinks. While readers may have heard of a Tom Collins, not everybody will be familiar with the egg, cream, vermouth, anisette and benedictine-based Bunch of Violets. If you're having a large party, perhaps try the suggested Champagne Bowl—one pound of lump sugar, two bottles of Moselle wine, one bottle of Burgundy and two bottles of champagne, all mixed together. "The Flowing Bowl" reprint is available on Amazon for just $12, but a very rare original will fetch thousands.
Jerry Thomas' Bartenders Guide: How to Mix Drinks or The Bon-Vivant's Companion
Predating Schmidt's work, "Jerry Thomas' Bartenders Guide: How To Mix Drinks" debuted in 1862. Today's reprint is also a facsimile edition, meaning the formatting is charming and old world. Within these pages there are over 600 valuable recipes developed by Christian Schultz and NYC's Metropolitan Hotel principal bartender Jerry Thomas—but not just for cocktails, there's also guidance on the distillation apparatus and the process of making liquors, cordials, syrups and more. Thomas didn't want any bar to be without, and the lessons within guide bartenders to making their very own spirits.
As for the cocktails, a Parisian Pousse Cafe (referred to as a celebrated Parisian drink) pairs Curaçao, Kirschwasser and Chartreuse—something of an oddity really. And yet the whiskey toddy recipe holds up today. There are many drinks within Thomas' guide that truly feel strange and, with that, inspirational. This reprint is available for purchase on Amazon for $12, while the 1887 version sells for roughly $1,400.
The Savoy Cocktail Book
During the 1920s, the epitome of class and culture thrived within the walls of The Savoy Hotel and, during that time, they collected over 750 cocktail recipes. Although it was published in 1930, a year after the global market crash, "The Savoy Cocktail Book" memorializes the '20s gracefully, while demonstrating the depth of the craft. From 1925 forward, Harry Craddock helmed The Savoy's American Bar—and built the first location for chatting about mixed drinks. His concoctions matched the potency of dizzying jazz, and many of these recipes are still in circulation today.
Inside readers will find the Corpse Reviver, something recently revived by bartenders globally, as well as a variety of stellar martinis. Another interesting cocktail: the Harvard Cooler, which employs Calvados and lemon, and the Manhattan Cooler matching Claret and rum. This majestic compendium, in a beautifully illustrated reprint, can be purchased on "Amazon for $13. The original London edition ranges between $958 and $4,400.
The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book
Two years after the lift of America's Prohibition, NYC's Waldorf-Astoria published their gold standard guide that's "flavored with dashes of history, mixed in a shaker of anecdote and served with a chaser of illuminative information." And that claim is true. "The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book" was compiled by the hotel's historian at the time, Albert Stevens Crockett and it contains over 500 cocktails served before Prohibition—and 100 that originated during Prohibition.
From the wonderful Wild Cherry (half Tom Gin, half Cherry Brand and a dash of orange bitters) to a Sherry Cobbler (chilled Sherry with sugar water, and fruit), there are many gems. There's even a riveting section on "Hot-With Flames" drinks—including a Café Brûler of coffee, brandy and more. The preamble and the historical appendix also provide plenty of context for all the cocktails. The reprint sells on Amazon for $9, the original will run you $1,200.
Images by David Graver
Bike gear inspired by the "godfather of cycling" Henri Desgrange
by Graham Hiemstra in Style on 31 July 2014
Henri Desgrange was a celebrated sports journalist, decorated cyclist and the first organizer of the Tour de France. He is known to many as the godfather of urban cycling and is, in fact, a defining source of inspiration for Henri 1865, a young cycling-minded clothing brand that takes its name from the famous Frenchman and his birth year. Avoiding lycra in favor of cotton and natural blends, Melbourne, Australia-based Henri 1865 offers apparel for the urban cyclist looking to slip from saddle to office chair, without the need of an attire adjustment.
Blending a refined vintage aesthetic with a sleek degree of modernism, the brand's current collection boasts more than a handful of standouts. The classic striped polo exudes traditional cycling style, while the Racer Fit Trouser offers something more for everyday use with reflective detailing and a slim fit. For more information and purchases, visit Henri 1865 online, where garments sell for between $59 and $459 AUD.
Images courtesy of Henri 1865
Andrew Rae's debut graphic novel is a humorous coming-of-age story with an unusual protagonist
Life's tough enough for a teenage kid in high school, but when you've got a moon for a head, it's even more difficult. Making his debut appearance in Moonhead and the Music Machine from graphic design haven Nobrow Press, protagonist Joey Moonhead has his head in the (sometimes literal) clouds, thanks to an active imagination that helps him endure everything from teasing to classes to his own apathetic parents.
With an opportunely timed school talent show, however, Joey might be able to take control of his situation—with the help of a hand-built music machine that has some mysterious powers.
A humorous coming-of-age story that doesn't take itself too seriously, the graphic novel relishes in its most surreal moments (anything can happen in a world where moonheads live alongside regular humans) while still feeling relatable to anyone who's ever felt like the underdog.
We came across London-based illustrator Andrew Rae previously in his work for the biographical "This Is..." artist series, but this is the first time he's developed both the story and illustrations for a full-length book. "I really enjoyed having more space to explore the characters and to draw things from different angles or less of an obvious way than you have to in a one off image," Rae tells CH.
"Obviously I didn't have a moon for a head, but Joey is basically a version of me as a teenager," he says. "A lot of the scenes are based on memories. For instance, the scene with the vinyl is based on my memories of sifting through my parents' record collection and looking at the artwork and realizing that just because music is old, it doesn't mean it's bad."
"My family is a musical lot and my dad had guitars, synths and keyboards around the house, which is something I've picked up from him," says Rae. "So I enjoyed making a story about music even though there isn't actually any music in it. There are also little details in there like the school piano being made by Thompson Pianos which was my granddad's business in Glasgow and one of the album covers is for a band called the Ministry of Beat which was a band my dad was in, in the '60s."
"I was a big fan of Asterix comics and annuals like the Beano and Dandy and I read a lot of Scottish comics like Oor Wully and the Broons, as my family are from Glasgow," Rae recalls. "The Bash Street kids in the Beano definitely influenced the school scenes in Moonhead." Rae's knack for clean lines, bright colors and well-timed "silent" moments (in which he lets the illustrations speak for themselves) all make the book an enjoyable and relatable experience.
The hardcover bound "Moonhead and the Music Machine" is available for $25 from Nobrow Press online.
Images by Cool Hunting