Mr. Boston Official Bartenders Guide

  • Rating: 9
  • Value: 9

The standard reference for mixing drinks just about anywhere

TITLE: Mr. Boston Official Bartenders Guide
SUBTITLE: Mr Boston’s 75th Anniversary Edition
EDITORS:  Jonathan Pogash, Rick Rodgers
PUBLISHER: Wiley, 344 pages
TYPE: Drinks Recipes ( approx 1,500)
COST: $14.99
REVIEWED BY: Chris Carlsson,

 Mr. Boston  Official Bartenders Guides have been published since January of 1935  with numerous printings and editions,  and more than doubling in size (both in pages and recipes) to its current version which includes 200 new recipes from today’s leading bartenders. This is in keeping with it’s long recognized function of being not only the definitive recipe handbook for drinks but also as a repository and reference for bartenders to date the appearance of a drink.  As a sidebar –  this was taught to me be Ted Haigh a.k.a. “Dr Cocktail”  one of the founders of the American Cocktail Museum, who said everyone who is serious about cocktails must own as many different and as complete a print run of Mr Boston’s as they can find for a reference library.

The editing of this icon of bartending was originally in the hands of Leo Cotton  for over 35 years (until 1970)  then underwent a series of editors, publishers, and formats till it arrived now at Wiley with the newest guardians of drinking recipes, Jonathan Pogash and Rick Rodgers tasked with the daunting responsibility of editing and selecting  what recipes stay, are added and the content of all the other aspects of putting together this canon of drink.

With a recipe base of  roughly 1500 cocktails this may not be the largest aggregate recipe book but all the drinks were chosen for their value and relevance- not just to bulk up the numbers like a number of books and databases out there. Broken down by main ingredients of type, this is a very easy to use reference covering all the cocktails almost anyone is likely to ask for unless they are playing ‘stump the bartender.’

Originally more of a recipe book that assumed you knew a fair amount about mixing drinks, the Bar Basics section has greatly expanded to cover a lot more bar techniques,  advice,  directions,  and wisdom than previous editions to make sure that you will have not only the recipes you need but also the techniques and knowledge to carry them off with elan and make sure they go in the right glass, with the right ingredients, garnishes and preparation, after being mixed and prepared in the proper manner.

Oh yes, and  did I mention I got two cocktails ( including one in a picture!) in this edition?

No, it didn’t affect our ratings one way or the other, but we were happy to get some recipes in there. It’s the bartender/mixologist equivalent of immortality.

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