August 8th, 2006

This IS me (by schwitters)Default

Fizzes are very good drinks in the morning

Southwark Library has lots of books for sale and a big sign announcing that they all now cost 10p. Yesterday I bought Brighton Rock, which I'd never read, orange Penguin edition, and today's haul consisted of two cocktail handbooks.

One is a Pan guide which I thought might be useful, and the other is the 'Sixth Large Edition' of Cocktails: How To Mix Them which I thought might be hilarious. Its author goes simply by 'Robert', 'of the American Bar, Casino Municipal, Nice, and late of the Embassy Club, London', and the blurb on the back reads as follows:

Everybody loves a cocktail; but not one in a thousand can mix one. With this book it is almost as simple as preparing the common-or-garden whisky and soda.

Although this is a complete bartender's guide to the making of cocktails, it is something more. It enables anyone to give a friend a cocktail in his own home, and a good cocktail too.

The materials required for a large number of popular cocktails are to be found in any ordinary home. The few utensils necessary are indicated, and the cost is small.

In addition to cocktails, Robert tells how to mix cobblers, crustas, coolers, egg-nogs, fizzes, flips, frappés, high-balls, juleps, pousse-cafés, punches, rickeys, sangarees, slings, smashes, and sours.
Surprisingly there's a list of non-alcoholic refreshments, including Lobster Cocktail, Vegetable Cocktail and Pussyfoot Cocktail: 'the author's own recipe in admiration for plucky Pussyfoot Johnson, the world's total abstainers' champion'.

There's also a section on medicinal boozing: 'a mouthful of neat Absinthe Pernod swallowed very slowly will cure neuralgia', while a mixture of gin and anisette helps with stomach-ache.

I am filled with nostalgia for a gentler and more alcoholic age.
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