Every year as Tales of the Cocktail rolls around I get asked by scores of people if it is really as fun as it sounds (answer: resounding yes). I also get asked if it would be something that a cocktail enthusiast would enjoy, as people wonder if it is something that is exclusively for bar professionals (answer: if you like cocktails, you’ll love Tales!).
And so with these questions in mind, I give you reason #396 to go to Tales of the Cocktail.
This year, Greg Boehm, brilliant mastermind of Mud Puddle Books and all around nice guy is heading to New York this year with three things on his mind. One, he is releasing the next six books of his wonderful antiquated collection. Two, he’s having a rare book auction (it’s the books that are rare, not so much the auction). And three, he is also moderating a panel entitled Cocktail Book Fetish which is described thusly:
Obsession is a feeling that top book collectors Greg Boehm and Jeff Masson know all too well. Join them as they discuss the past and present state of cocktail book collecting with a level of detail and humor that only the obsessed have. Using time lines, top ten lists and the precious books themselves they’ll tell you everything you need to know about the must-have, most influential and even most overrated cocktail books published over the past 250 years. All attendees will receive “The Cocktail Book Fetish” handout which includes a seminar summary as well as a few of the oldest, best and worst drink recipes in history.
Now some of you may hmm and haw over reprinted books, but let me assure you that what he’s done with these reprints is something special. Not only has he reprinted the originals, but he has pulled out all stops, faithfully reproducing the paper, cover and even the binding of the originals. It is as if you were holding the original, but for one thing. Not content with merely reproducing the originals, he has had cocktail luminaries of our time write intros for each of the books, and at Tales this year, he will release the next of his series of reproductions, that goes a little something like this:
Recipes for Mixed Drinks by by Hugo Ensslin (1917)
The World’s Drinks and How to Mix Them by Bill Boothby (1908)
Drinks by Jacques Straub (1914)
Artistry of Mixing Drinks by Frank Meier (1936)
Cocktails: How to Mix Them by Robert Vermeire (1922)
Modern American Drinks by George Kappeler (1895)
He’s starting to make me question the thousands I’ve spent on the originals!
Now before I sign off and let you buy tickets for this year’s events (even though Greg’s seminar conflicts with my own on cocktail photography), I just want you all to be aware that our good friend Greg is not content with just giving us the means to learn the classics. He’s now intent on having us make those classics with style as well. Mr. Boehm has finally secured a (hopefully) steady supply of quality European and Japanese barware to the US, in hopes that we may never have to use a bar spoon with a rapidly disappearing red plastic top again. Go to his site to learn more.
There you have it, reason #396 to go to Tales. See you there in two weeks!