Posts Tagged ‘antiquarian cocktail book’

Savoy Cocktail Book, 1933 Signed Copy

Tuesday, June 19th, 2018

If memory serves I bought this rare baby in 2012 when I was visiting London to help judge a cocktail competition for Courvoisier cognac. I was approached during the lunch break by a man who told me that he’d just seen a signed copy of the 1933 edition of the Savoy Cocktail book in a nearby antiquarian bookstore. He graciously offered to take me there.

I can’t remember the name of the gent who pointed me in this direction, but I well remember him telling me that his biggest claim to fame was that his wife had been the model they used for Jessica Rabbit in the cartoon movie, Who Framed Roger Rabbit. She must have been quite a babe!

The bookstore in question was owned and run by Natalie Galustian who now works, I believe, for the DHH Literary Agency in London. She and I haggled a little, but we soon agreed on a price, so I handed over my credit card and the deal was done.

Here’s a picture of the page that was signed by the illustrious Harry Craddock. “Here’s How!” was a common phrase heard in the bars of yesteryear, and Craddock often used it in his signature.  It’s dated February 22 (or 23?), 1936, three years after this edition was published.

The Savoy Cocktail Book has been described as the Bhagavad Gita of cocktail books by English writer Alice Lascelles, and it contains many great cocktail quotes. Underneath the recipe for the Corpse Reviver (No. 1), for instance, is a note advising the reader that the drink was “To be taken before 11 a.m., or whenever steam and energy are needed”  The note under the next recipe for the Corpse Reviver (No 2), however, warns that “Four of these taken in swift succession will unrevive the corpse again.”

Craddock’s best known quote from this book, though, can be found in the foreword under the heading


Hint Number 6 instructs

Drink your Cocktail as soon as possible. Harry Craddock was once asked what was the best was to drink a Cocktail.

“Quickly,” replied that great man, while it’s still laughing at you.




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Mamma’s Recipes for Keeping Papa Home, 1901

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

I’ve no idea where this came from, but I’ve had it for many years, and I figure that it was probably printed circa 1900, a time when the Temperance movement was gaining a foothold, and as the title suggests, women were trying desperately to keep their men away from those debauched bars and clubs.

I picked the year 1900 specifically because I found an ad for Martin Casey in the  Texas Mining and Trade Journal, Volume 4, Number 29, Saturday, February 3, 1900, though of course this pamplet could have been printed a decade or more either side of that.

To keep their men at home, of course, women would have to learn how to fix cocktails, hence the Martin Casey company printed this little manual.  Whether or not they also distributed booklets instructing wives how to book raunchy bar girls to keep their hubbies busy, is not known.




Below I’ll post a few more pages from this little treasure, just so you can get a feel for the cocktail scene, around the turn of the Twentieth Century.





Note the medicinal claims in the Cognac ad on the right here:



Here’s a nice old ad for Old-Tom gin


Here you can see an ad for Creme de Menthe,

but you might want to also note the recipe for Rock & Rye, “a good remedy for sore throats and colds”

Here’s an ad for Caroni Cocktail Bitters

And on the back cover we discover that


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