For the Classic Cocktail Connoisseur, the enjoyment of cocktails stems equally from drinking cocktails, mixing these libations and sharing with friends, as well as following their fascinating history. And what a chronicle there is! Recipe books, guides, and manuals about cocktails, liquers, bitters, drinks, mixed drinks — whatever you might call them — abounded since their beginning, and continue to this day.
For the casual cocktail sipper, to the devoted cocktail enthusiast, there is good news — many of these hard to find materials are out of copyright, and have been transformed into digital documents, available to anyone with with an internet connection and a tap of the finger.
Here is an abridged list of those cocktails guides and books available for you to view at your leisure, on the web.
- Leonard Monzert, The independent liquorist, or, The art of manufacturing and preparing all kinds of cordials, syrups, bitters, wines … (Dick & Fitzgerald, 1856).
- Jerry Thomas and Christian Schultz, How to mix drinks: or, The bon-vivant’s companion, containing … directions for mixing all the beverages used in the United States, together with the most popular British, French, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish recipes (Dick & Fitzgerald, 1862).
- Henry Porter (of Peterborough) and George Edwin Roberts, Cups and their Customs [by H. Porter and G.E. Roberts]., 1863.
- Charles Tovey, British & Foreign Spirits: their History, Manufacture, Properties, etc (Whittaker, 1864).
- William Terrington, Cooling Cups and Dainty Drinks, 1869.
- E. Ricket and C. Thomas, The gentleman’s Table Guide, by E. Ricket and C. Thomas, 1871.
- A treatise on the manufacture of liquors, syrups, cordials and bitters: including also, instructions for making vinegar, cider, wines, punch essences, &c., containing a large number of valuable receipts (Aschenbach & Miller, 1884).
- William Schmidt, The flowing bowl: when and what to drink : full instructions how to prepare, mix, and serve beverages(C.L. Webster, 1891).
- Thomas Bullock, The Ideal Bartender, Buxton & Skinner Printing & Stationary Co. (1917)