Mondo Cocktail A Shaken and Stirred History

  • Rating: 10
  • Value: 10
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The book to buy on cocktail history. Not just a great reference but an entertaining read with or without drink in other hand.

TITLE: Mondo Cocktail
SUBTITLE: A Shaken and Stirred History
AUTHOR: Christine Sismondo
PUBLISHER: McArthur and Company
TYPE: Reference/Philosophy / Drinks
COST: $13.96 U.S.
REVIEWED BY: Chris Carlsson,


Overview: A more erudite and vastly more philosophical (and loquacious) approach to drinking and the culture of drink than one of my other favorite books on the subject: The Modern Drunkard. It is not just our shared enthusiasms of H. L. Mencken and drinking in the morning to start a more relaxed day, but her entire approach to cocktails, the history thereof, along with the story telling and the research.

It is also in stark contrast to Big Shots which was long on entertaining stories -but extremely short on solid research or facts- in its immaculate annotation and mastery of relevant sources and quotes, not to mention wit and humor.

General Review: Humorous, witty, decadent, and informative. A delight to read. Covers the history of the cocktail, the culture, sociology, philosophy and how to make 12 of the more classic cocktails in a highly entertaining mix of technique, literary and lifestyle critique, and technique.

A absolute standout in the field. The standard by which other books on the subject will be judged for years to come (in my humble opinion). The only downside to reading this book is you will find others pale by comparison. Mondo Cocktail is THE book on cocktail history for both the serious student of drink and for those who wish to understand them.

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