The cocktail has had a glorious 200 year history, much of which unfortunately has gone unheralded for far too long. Thankfully, one of the most diligent cocktail historians of today's milieu has taken it upon himself to rectify this problem.
Using the illustrious "Jerry Thomas" (famous bartender from the mid 1800's and author of the first known bartenders guide) as a focal point, Mr. Wondrich introduces us to the birth and evolution of the cocktail as well as a variety of other categories of "mixed drinks" from that era. With insightful, and often witty explanations he steps carefully through both the drinks and the attitudes of the time which formed the foundation for all that was to follow.
Cocktail recipe books, which cram as many recipes as possible within their pages, are a dime a dozen. To truly understand the cocktail, whether you are a bartender or bar-attender, requires that you have a grasp of the history which preceded our current landscape. For this reason, this book is perhaps the most important book of its kind, and fills a huge void which has surrounded this topic for virtually its entire history.