Words by: Simon Difford
Since Richard Cook wrote the first known dedicated book in the English language recording drinks recipes in 1827 there has followed an awful lot of cocktail recipe books, many such titles having numerous editions. Navigating these tomes is essential to understanding the origin and development of the classic cocktails that appear on bar menus around the world to this day.
Fortunately, thanks to EUVS Vintage Cocktail Books and Collectif 1806 many of these books are now free to read on-line. Follows a timeline of some of the most important vintage cocktail books with links to read many of them online and even download.
1827 - Oxford Night Caps by Richard Cook (Oxford, England)
The first known book on mixed drinks written in English, as the name suggests this was written by Richard cook, a resident at Oxford University, for students. A collection of drinks enjoyed at the university halls and residences in the early 1800s, it was originally published in 1827 as a pamphlet but grew into a book over three subsequent editions: 1835, 1847, 1871, 1931
1862 - The Bar-Tender's Guide A Complete Cyclopedia of Plain And Fancy Drinks by Jerry Thomas
The first known book specifically aimed at bartenders.
1863 - Cups and Their Customs by G. E. Roberts
1869 - Steward and Barkeepers Manual by J. Haney
1869 - Cooling Cups and Danty Drinks (1st edition) by William Terrington (London, England).
1871 - Gentleman's Table Guide by E. Ricket and C. Thomas (London, England).
1872 - Cooling Cups and Danty Drinks (2nd edition) by William Terrington (London, England).
1875 - American Bar-Tender or the Art and Mystery of Making Drinks by H.L.W.
1876 - The Bar-tenders Guide or How to Mix All Kinds of Plain and Fancy Drinks (1st edition) by Jerry Thomas (New York, USA).
1878 - American and Other Drinks by L. Engel
1879 - Intoxicating Drinks, Their History and Mystery by J. Kirtion
1879 - The Modern Bartender's Guide by O.H. Byron
1882 - Harry Johnson's Bartender's Manual or How To Mix Drinks of the Present Style ("New & Improved") by Harry Johnson (New York, USA)
1884 - Scientific Bar-Keeping
1884 - How To Mix Drinks-Bar-Keeper's Handbook by George Winter
1885 - New Guide for the Hotel, Bar, Restaurant and Chef by Bacchus & Cordon Bleu
1887 - The Bar-tenders Guide or How to Mix All Kinds of Plain and Fancy Drinks (2nd edition) by Jerry Thomas (New York, USA).
1887 - Dishes and Drinks by "an old Bohemian"
1887 - American Drinks by C. Paul
1888 - Good Things by Godall & Backhouse
1888 - The Bartender Or How To Mix Drinks by H. Lamore
1888 - Harry Johnson's Bartender's Manual or How To Mix Drinks of the Present Style ("New & Improved") by Harry Johnson (New York, USA)
1891 - Cocktail Boothby's American Bartender (first edition) by William T. Boothby (San Francisco, USA)
1891 - Wehmann's Bartenders Guide by Henry J.Wehmann
Noted for containing the second known reference to a Martini
1892 - The Flowing Bowl - What And When To Drink by 'The Only William' Schmidt (New York, USA)
1895 - The Mixicologist or How To Mix All Kinds Of Fancy Drinks ("revised edition") by C. F. Lawlor (Cincinnati)
1895 - Modern American Drinks - How to Mix and Serve All Kinds of Cups and Drinks by George J. Kappeler
1895 - American Bar Tender by R. C. Miller (Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA)
1896 - Fancy Drinks and Popular Beverages by 'The Only William' Schmidt (New York, USA)
1900 - Harry Johnson's Bartenders' Manual or How To Mix Drinks or the Present Style (The New and Improved Illustrated" edition) by Harry Johnson (New York, USA)
1903 - The Flowing Bowl by Edward Spencer, London, England
1903 - Daly's Bartenders Encyclopedia by Tim Daly, USA
Noted for Daly's reference to Martinis served frappe, the first known written Marguerite Cocktail recipe, and his "Bottle of Martini Cocktail" recipe stating that "this is supposed to be a very dry cocktail" so the first suggestion of a "Dry Martini".
1904 - Drinks As They Are Mixed "by leading bartenders" edited by Paul E Lowe (Chicago, USA)
Nov 1904 - Stuart's Fancy Drinks And How To Mix Them by Thos. Stuart (New York, USA)
1904 - American-Bar Recettes des Boissons Anglaises et Américaine (American Bar Drinks and Recipes of the English American) by Frank P Newman (Paris, France)
Written by a bartender at the Ritz, this 1904 edition of a book, originally printed in 1900, is notable for its inclusion of the first-known recipe for a "Dry Martini Cocktail".
1904 - Applegreen's Bar Book by John Applegreen (Chicago, USA)
Contains a recipe for both a "Martini Cocktail" and a ""Martini Cocktail, Dry" as well as a "Crisp Cocktail" that is basically an equal parts Dry Martini with a twist.
1905 - Consolidated Library of Modern Cooking and Household Recipes, volume 5 by Christine Terhune Herrick and M. Harland
1905 - The Hoffman House Bartender's Guide - How to Open a Saloon and Make It Pay by Charles S. Mahoney (New York, USA)
1906 - Louis' Mixed Drinks By Louis Muckensturm (Boston, USA)
Noted for being the first book in the English language to use the name "Dry Martini" for a recipe combining gin and dry vermouth. The first known mention was in French - see 1904.
1906 - Modern American Drinks - How to Mix and Serve All Kinds of Cups and Drinks by George J Kappeler (New York, USA)
1909 - Recipes of American and Other Iced Drinks mainly by Charlie Paul (London, England)
1912 - The Hoffman House Bartender's Guide by Charles S. Mahoney (New York, USA)
1913 - Bartender's Manual by the Bartender's Association of America
1914 - Drinks by Jacques Straub (Chicago, USA).
1914 - The World's Drinks and How To Mix Them Standard Authority (second edition) by Hon. Wm. (Cocktail) Boothby (San Francisco, USA)
1916 - Recipes for Mixed Drinks (1st Edition) Hugo R. Ensslin (New York, USA)
Noted for: first Aviation recipe and first equal parts Alexander recipe
1917 - The Ideal Bartender by Tom Bullock (St. Louis, Missouri, USA)
1917 - Recipes for Mixed Drinks (2nd Edition) Hugo R. Ensslin (New York, USA)
Noted for: The last major pre-Prohibition cocktail book.
1920 - Drinks by Jacques Straub (Chicago).
1920 - What to Drink by Bertha E. L. Stockbridge (New York)
16th January 1920 - U.S. Prohibition starts
America was the main driver in the evolution of cocktail so Prohibition (following the 18th Amendment 16th January 1919) obviously had a dramatic effect on bartending and the cocktail books published during the period.
1922 - Harry's ABC of Mixing Cocktails
1922 - Cocktails: How to Mix Them by Robert Vermeire
1923 - "Harry" of Ciro's ABC of Mixing Cocktails by Christopher & Co. (London, England)
1924 - Manual del Caninero
1925 - Drinks—Long & Short
1926 - Harry's ABC of Mixing Cocktails (4th Edition) by Harry MacElhone.
1927 - Here's How! by Judge Jr.
1927 - Here's How! Revised Edition (content almost entirely different to above) by Judge Jr.
1927 - Barflies and Cocktails by Harry McElhone (Paris, France)
1928 - Here's How Again! by Judge Jr.
1928 - The Bon Vivants Companion or How To Mix Drinks by Professor Jerry Thomas (who died in 1885) edited with an introduction by Herbert Asbury
1929 - Noble Experiments by Judge Jr.
1929 - Cocktails de Paris
1929 - Libro de Cocktail
1929 - Sideboard Manual for Gentlemen
1930 - The Savoy Cocktail Book (1st Edition) by Harry Craddock (London, England)
1930 - "Harry" of Ciro's ABC of Mixing Cocktails (9th Impression) by Dean & Son (London, England)
1931 - Old Waldorf Bar Daysby Albert Stevens Crockett (New York, USA)
1932 - Sloppy Joe's Bar Season 1931-1932 (Havana, Cuba)
1933 - Bar La Florida Cocktails (1st edition)
1933 - What'll You Have? By Julien J. Proskauer
5th December 1933 - U.S. Prohibition ends
On December 5, 1933, the 21st Amendment was ratified, repealing the 21st Amendment and ending Prohibition. Bartenders and publishers were quick to supply a thirsty nation, leading to a profusion of new cocktail books.
1934 - Harry Johnson's New and Improved Bartender's Manual and a Guide for Hotels and Restaurants (revised edition) by Harry Johnson (New Jersey, USA)
1934 - Bar La Florida Cocktails (2nd edition) by Obispo y Monserrate (Havana, Cuba)
1934 - What Shall We Drink by Magnus Bredenbek
This has chapters on how to mix cocktails and the serving of red and white wine.
1934 - G. H. Steele's My New Cocktail Book
1934 - Official Mixer's Manual (1st edition) by Patrick Gavin Duffy
1934 - Bottoms Up by Jean Robert Meyer (New York, USA)
1934 - The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book (2nd edition) by A. S. Crockett
1934 - 1700 Cocktails for the Man Behind the Bar by R. de Fleury
Oct 1934 - Here Is Something That Will Interest You (1st edition) by The Victoria Wine Co., London.
1935 - Old Waldorf Bar Days (3rd edition "with amendments due to repeal of the 18th")by Albert Stevens Crockett (New York, USA)
Nov 1935 - Here Is Something That Will Interest You (reprint) by The Victoria Wine Co., London.
Dec 1935 - So Red The Nose or Breath in the Afternoon by Sterling North and Carl Kroch, USA
1936 - The Artistry of Mixing Drinks (1st edition) by Frank Meier (Paris)
1936 - Mille Misture by Elveio Grassi (Italy)
1937 - The UKBG's Approved Cocktails
1937 - Café Royal Cocktail Book - Coronation Edition by W. J. Tarling
Nov 1937 - Famous New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix 'em (1st printing) by Stanley Clisby Arthur (New Orleans, Louisiana, USA).
Dec 1937 - Here Is Something That Will Interest You (3rd edition) by The Victoria Wine Co., London.
Dec 1937 - Famous New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix 'em (2nd printing) by Stanley Clisby Arthur (New Orleans, Louisiana, USA).
Aug 1938 - Famous New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix 'em (3rd printing) by Stanley Clisby Arthur (New Orleans, Louisiana, USA).
1939 - The Gentleman's Companion (Volume II) An Exotic Drinking Book or Around The World With Jigger, Beaker And Flask by Charles H. Baker Jr. (New York, USA)
Jun 1940 - The Bartender's Guide (Garden City edition) by Patrick Gavin Duffy
1941 - Toasts Around the World Cocktail Book by Hiram Walker and Sons
1946 - The Rowing Bartender Two Hemisphere Drinks For Home and Bar by Bill Kelly (California, USA)
1946 - Trader Vic's Book of Food and Drink by Victor Bergeron
Regarded as being the first Tiki book.
1948 - The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks (1st edition) by David Embury
1948 - Shaking with Eddie by Eddie Clarke (London, England)
1948 - El Arte del Cantinero Los Vinos Y Los Licores by Hilario Alonso Sanchez (Cuba)
1949 - Esquire's Handbook for Hosts
1951 - Bottom's Up by Ted Saucier
June 1953 - The U.K.B.G. Guide to Drinks (first edition) by The United Kingdom Bartenders' Guide (London, England)
1954 - King Cocktail - Shake Again with Eddie by Eddie Clarke (London, England).
1954 - Practical Bar Management by Eddie Clarke (London, England)
October 1955 - The U.K.B.G. Guide to Drinks (second edition) by The United Kingdom Bartenders' Guide (London, England)
1963 - Shaking in the 60's by Eddie Clarke (London, England)