The Savoy Cocktail Book Review – Literary Monday

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The first print of The Savoy Cocktail Book was written during the darkest hours of Prohibition by a barman that sought refuge at the famed American Bar in the Savoy Hotel in London. Like many great American barman, Harry Craddock was forced to flee his native land in order to ply his craft. Luckily for us, he headed off to the American Bar where he was the head barman from 1925 to 1939 and wrote this time honored cocktail book. For those in love with the current craft cocktail movement, this book can be your blueprint. For many years, it was the bartender’s bible and served as an oasis in the American bartending movement, which has only now began to truly recover from Prohibition.

The Savoy Cocktail Book was first published in 1930 and has been in print ever since. In 1999, a new foreward was added by Peter Dorelli, the 9th head barman in the American Bar’s history, along with recipes for some of the famous libations from the American Bar whipped up in modern times. Being a huge Princess Diana fan, I particularly enjoy the Blushing Monarch, which was developed to honor the People’s Princess.

When I say that The Savoy Cocktail Book is a blueprint for making craft cocktails, I am not kidding. While I enjoy some of the earlier works by famed mixologists, I sometimes find some of the cocktails difficult to craft. There are no such problems with The Savoy Cocktail Book. Mr. Craddock provides exemplary instructions on how to craft different styles of drinks and a number of recipes to accompany his instructions. This gem of a cocktail book will instruct you on how to make punches, cobblers, flips, frappes and a whole host of other cocktails. If you are building your collection of cocktail books, I would highly recommend this one. If you only have room for a few on your shelf, then this is also a must have.

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