To celebrate the imminent arrival of our newest cocktail book, Death & Co. (from the NYC bar of the same name), your intrepid and occasionally lazy writers here at Root & Glass have chosen to start a new regular feature. One that looks back at another book on our shelf and decides to mock it shamelessly. You know… for the kids!
But I want to make it clear now, we are not trying to disrespect this book. It does serve as a reliable benchmark for some fairly arcane information. In the opening chapters, one can easily find information about unit conversions, illustrated and named glassware, and equivalent measures for 19th-Century quantifications (I have this page bookmarked; how am I supposed to remember what a pony-glass is, or how many bottles of wine a Rehoboam is?). The copy we have was a thoughtful gift from two dear friends, so no, we bear this book no ill will. However, there are some *very* mockable parts to it.
The guidelines for these posts are quite simple. We will be temporarily ignoring all of the classics, forgotten gems, and newer curiosities that Mr. Boston faithfully chronicles in order to scrutinize a claim made right on the front cover:
Wow, I mean, with 1,500 recipes that’s gotta have it all! After all, these must be things that the ‘Master Mixologist” has to need! Well, it sure does, and this series of posts will be highlighting some of the recipes that made me stop reading and exclaim, often audibly, “Really, Mr. Boston? Is THAT how we’re filling this list of 1,500?”
To kick it off, I bring you the ‘recipe’ that spawned the idea for this series. Picture it in your mind: a fresh, new, first-day-on-the-job young bartender, standing tall at the local aspiring cocktail bar, suddenly facing the frightening wall of public demands. All of that training and advance studying fly out of their brains at the first non-bottled request from the thirsty face of a shouting customer. In a blind panic, they reach for the trusty old copy of Mr. Boston that is safely camped out under the bar and flip to refresh their memory without giving away the impression that they have no idea what words just entered their ears. They turn the pages in a mounting frenzy until they reach their goal, and they read:
Then they calmly close the book, place it back on the shelf, and raise their arm in a sudden, involuntary upward swipe that ends with the heel of their hand connecting to their forehead with a resounding SMACK.
Really, Mr. Boston? You counted this one? You thought, perhaps, that your all-encompassing volume just wouldn’t be complete without this one? That it needed to be preserved, in case the terms ‘on the rocks’ got a reader wondering if it supposed to be granite or marble? UGH.