It’s getting closer….
It’s almost that time of year again. That time of year when bar chefs, mixologists, bartenders and booze-ophiles from all over the planet pack their bags, head to the airport and fly to that cradle of cocktailian history: The Big Easy, The Crescent City, The Paris of the Americas , NOLA, or New Orleans, Louisiana!
And the reason for this mass migration? Why Tales of the Cocktail of course, where New Orleans is the annual host to the internationally acclaimed festival of cocktails, cuisine, and culture. This event brings together the best and brightest of the cocktail community — award-winning mixologists, authors, bartenders, chefs, and designers — for a five-day celebration of the history and artistry of drink making. Each year offers a spirited series of dinners, demos, tastings, competitions, seminars, book signings, tours, and parties; all perfectly paired with some of the best cocktails ever made, by some of the best bartenders this planet has to offer!
There are many reasons to be going to this event, and the copious amounts of free booze flowing is the least of them. This year I’ll be working the tasting rooms of St. Germain and Yamazaki, as well as doing a number of seminars, including one on how to do the cocktail photography that you see on this site with little to no skill and a tiny budget. But the real reason that I’m telling you about this today is because I’ve just received an exciting email from Ted “Dr. Cocktail” Haigh, one of the many talented people at Tales this year that went a little something like this:
Friends, history buffs, cocktail enthusiasts, creative thinkers…it has been half a decade since Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails was released, to more fanfare than I could ever have imagined. In two weeks, Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails, the deluxe, revised & expanded edition, will hit the shelves.
This is a sincere avowal of my belief that the new edition is better than the first. Here are some reasons I think so: There are fully 25% more forgotten recipes to try. The book is over twice as long. (Why 25% more recipes but twice the pages? I’ll explain…)
When I penned the first edition, I did so under the most unlikely of circumstances. I was buying my first house. I was moving into it. I was refurbishing it. I was getting married. I was working on the biggest movie project in Hollywood at the time. You see, that first edition began as a simple beauty project….recipe, pretty cocktail picture, cute anecdote. Anyone who knows me or has seen that book can imagine how long THAT plan lasted! The problem was…the book also had a deadline. While I was very proud of it (and thrilled by the response to it) I was aware – even before it was released – that some of the history was incomplete and less clear than I wished. Cocktails were included for which there was no time to ponder and supply the explanatory text they surely deserved. And, I admit it, there were errors. The book did look good but, as a longtime graphic designer, I knew where its every visual weakness lay. And it was paperback. It would not open and lie flat. This meant copies were quickly trashed attempting to actually use them behind the bar.
I agreed to do this new deluxe edition because I was assured a vast degree of creative control that many authors can only dream of. The result, as I said, is a book twice as long with lots more history and drink explanations (for both the original drinks and the many newly revealed ones as well) but that’s only the tip of the Kold-Draft ice cube. This new book is hardcover. The cover is water resistant. The result of a clever binding trick, the book opens to any page and lies flat. The substantial historical research yielded photographs, discoveries, and insights, much of which will be newly revealed.
In the original book, I did not have complete control over the the drink photography, which was done thousands of miles away from me. The deluxe edition was photographed right here at Casa de Cocktail. I was the art director, stylist, bartender. I personally chose the photographer, the ultra-talented Claire Barrett. I think you’ll see the difference; all of the images in the book are larger too.
Time moves on. Thus far, everything I’ve mentioned is a revision, an extension, and enhancement. The cocktail world has expanded and bloomed into full flower around the globe. The changes over the last critical five years have been extraordinary – and it’s all chronicled in the deluxe edition. The resource appendix was entirely rewritten with expanded, up-to-date resources. Most importantly, there is a completely new section of the book looking at the Internet and the effect it has had on the cocktail renaissance we now enjoy. I name the twenty-five most influential online cocktail pioneers, interview them about it, and share their thoughts.
There you have it. This is the book I always wanted to do; the best Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails I am capable of.
It hits the shelves July 1st, but it is available for pre-order on Amazon right now via this link.
Special note: it’ll be on sale at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, July 8th-12th where I will be happy to personally sign your copy!
Ted Haigh aka Dr. Cocktail
Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails was one of the first books that really got me interested in the history of cocktails, so I’m very excited for this book to be released! To add to my excitement, I’m also one of the contributors to his online section of the book!
So there you have it, yet another reason to go to Tales (you need to get that book signed, don’t you?) with many more to come in the following weeks.