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Mr. Boston Official Bartender's Guide 67th ed.

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Since 1935, Mr. Boston Official Bartender's Guide has recorded countless cocktail recipes and presents them in this handy reference guide for the professional and home

Read the full cook book review here...

*These cookbooks reviews are brought to you by ChefTalk.com.
post #2 of 22
here is a great radio show ep. that talks about the new edition with one of the editors. Anthony Giglio: The Restaurant Guys

BTW - to put it out there, I'm searching for a 1935 first print, first edition of this book that someone would like to sell me at a price that's less than what I'd pay for a small country.

Jim Meehan is a great bartender/drink maker as well.

EVERY one should have this book in their home as kind of a defacto go to book for a REAL cocktail.

DeGroffs new book "essentials" should be right next to it. With those two books, you can't go wrong making a good real cocktail. Now go throw away your "vodka"
post #3 of 22
Mr. Boston recipes are consistently too heavy on the mixers.

post #4 of 22
I disagree and would love to see some examples. Also, things like lemon and lime juice don't "count" as tastes can vary/change by the minute (if you're a big cocktail weenie like myself you'll notice) depending on the fruit and freshness. You have to remember, compare cocktail making to baking as far as ratios. If you add just a SPOONFUL more of something, its almost the equivalent of adding, say...a cup more sugar to your cake.

That said, I think it's one of the most accurate books as far as cocktail ratios. You have to remember, peoples cocktail palates have changed significantly over the years, and well, that's not a good thing. One example being a Martini. Try ordering a Martini anywhere, and you'll get Gin that was practically set next to a bottle of vermouth....that's about it. However, a real Martini, you'll see almost as much Vermouth as you do Gin.

Same with drink proportions. It's silly to drink 10oz martini's for a multitude of reasons. Cocktails should be usually, without juices, etc. ~3oz.

From the cheftalk review, which I agree with 100%.

You have to remember too, that spirits have changed over the years, so therefore cocktail recipes need to be somewhat modified. vermouth doesn't taste like vermouth did 50-75years ago, etc. I think that the editors did a **** good job of "editing" that in this Mr. Boston.

BDL, If you don't care for Mr. Boston, I suggest you pick up a book by Wondrich called "Imbibe!"

Mr. Boston is a GREAT reference book for anyone who's not into cocktails at all, but wold like to have a book on reserve for when a guest asks for one. Is it the book that I go to when I'm making a cocktail? No, because most likely, I know those recipes by now and can make to taste.

*p.s. ACCURATE pouring and the "right" ICE (for water dilution, THE most IMPORTANT aspect in making a cocktail) are key. Get some accurate jiggers and some decent ice trays. The days of Tom Cruise in Coctails Flare Bartending and Free pouring drinks are gone (for REAL cocktails) Let's call them the Rachel Ray and Sandra Lee way to make a cocktail.

*p.p.s. Most bars, I'd say 99.6% have "bad" ice. I'm no cocktail uber-guru just a real uber enthusiast, and well, the cocktail scene on the east coast (and somewhat in San Fran) is coming back, in a BIIIIIG way. I can walk into a bar and "hear" them shaking a cocktail and know if its going to be good or not based on how the ice sounds.
post #5 of 22
I just compared some Mr. Boston recipes, with some of Dale DeGroff's recipes (essential cocktails), for the classics that are common in both books, and they seem to be pretty spot on to me. and...

Don't think even a Lawyer can argue with Mr. DeGroff about cocktails.....well maybe...

If anyone is truely interested in cocktails, like...to the "nth" level. There is a pretty good forum out there. Forums - The Chanticleer Society
post #6 of 22

We've drunk together. You know I only like a sip or two of something very light and not terribly alcoholic -- preferably with cherries, orange slices and umbrellas.

What's your recipe for the perfect Negroni? I know you're into them.

Mine's a long shot of a gin with a lot of juniper varietal like Beef or Tanq. A long shot of Campari. A short shot of sweet vermouth, like Noilly. God help me, I like Martini & Rossi even though I know better. I like to shake, rather than stir. So shake until too cold to hold, strain into a stemmed cocktail glass, splash with ice cold soda, and garnish with an orange peel twist. Or if you can tolerate it, a slice on the rim. A wise man once said, "A cocktail without a vegetable is no cocktail at all."

But he was somewhat pixillated at the time,
post #7 of 22
negroni for me is a perfect ratio 1:1:1 - I prefer a gin with a neutral taste like Plymouth, and a "Real" vermouth like Carpano antica formula, or actually, what you'll see them most commonly in italy which is Punt e mes. Stired for me over rocks with a thin orange slice.

made this one the other day

Italians aren't big on cocktails, cocktails are more of an american thing, so things like shaking, etc. etc. straining, etc. etc.....too much work. just mix it in a glass. also, FWIW, the negroni is a rather new cocktail, you won't find it in a mr. boston before 1950 most likely. (runs and checks his 1957 copy just for curiousity)

Oh....and noilly just recently (and significantly) changed there formula for thier Dry, btw. They went back to the original formula, so if you're interested try to find a bottle and mix up say...a 2:1 martini (preferably with Old Tom Gin) with the dry and taste what a martini is SUPPOSED to taste like.
post #8 of 22
I haven't checked imbibe, but I just checked Mr. Boston and DeGroffs new book and both list it as 1:1:1 (with mr. boston adding a splash of club as optional) stired over rocks.

Interestingly, the history states that I was wrong, it was invented in 1925. still checking when it first appeared in print though.

p.s. the general consensus for shaking or stirring is that either produces an equally cold drink (although still brings up thermodynamics debate, but...i'll debate that with the everchanging variable of ice in size, shape, temp, hardness, etc.) however, usually for aesthetics, you stir most cocktails that are "clear" meaning they don't have cloudy fruit juices. i.e. a manhattan, martini, etc. and you usually shake anything with fruit juice....usually. in most cases..........for the most part....with exceptions of course. :beer:

remember, the most important ingredient in a cocktail, especially a Martini, is water (from dilution of ice)
post #9 of 22
I like the invented for Count Negroni myth. I don't necessarily buy it, but I like it.

I don't know about Italians drinking cocktails, but lots of other people drank them in Italy. There used to be a big bar culture there -- tons of ex pats. Hemingway supposedly drank a lot Americanos and Negronis.

1, 1, 1 is the standard ratio everywhere, but I find that a little too sweet.

The stirred version is clearer but not as aromatic or flavorful. I prefer most cocktails up myself. A Negroni is no exceptoin.

I HATE "classic" martinis. To me the ideal martini is made as follows (note the techniques involved to get the right amount of water via melted ice into the cocktail):

Prepare the shaker by filling with ice, and 2 - 3 ounces of Boodles or similar gin per drink. A larger martini looks better. A smaller one can be drunk while still cold.

Allow the shaker to sit while you prepare the (stemmed cocktail) glasses by putting a few ice cubes in each, then an ounce of Martini & Rossi or Noilly Pratt dry vermouth.

Allow the glasses to sit, while you prepare the cocktail olives by spearing them. I prefer one pimento stuffed, one anchovy stuffed, and one jalapeno stuffed on each spear.

Swirl the glasses so they're coated by ice-cold vermouth. Dump out the ice and the vermouth. The cold glass will appear frosted.

Set a prepared olive pick in each glass.

Shake the gin until the shaker is too cold to hold. Immediately strain into the glasses. Reserve a little in the froster. The gin should appear quite frosted with a very thin skin of ice on top.

After a few sips the martinis will begin to warm up and the gin will present too much of its character for many drinkers. Refresh the drinks with the reserved remainder, which will not only chill but dilute.

post #10 of 22
stirred or shaken, in this case, would make no difference in aroma or flavor other than your mind playing tricks on you, and usually pesky ice chips in your cockail.

well good thing you like it that way, and know how to make it that way, because it's certainly as far from classic as it get's and breaks all the rules. you rebel you!!

first, always (and i say always in a way that means, "what's kinda supposed to be done based on history, science, common sense" not in a "you better only do it this way")....always start your cocktails out in a room temp shaker glass(or tin), empty, with NO ice. Theory being you want to control the amount of dilution, if you put ice in, then pour in your spirits and the phone rings...or the floosy at the end of the bar needs her cigarette lit.....overdilution...

Second....always add your cheap ingredients first, usually vermouth or fruit juices/mixers. if you overpour or screw it up you wasted .01cents instead of .50 cents.

third, always chill your glass before you start your drink....crushed ice, or cubes and water in the glass and let it sit.

fourth, be a man, a real man, and put a little more than just a glass rinse of vermouth in a martini!!! trust me, I used to belong to that club, until someone showed me the way....

Here is what i think the problem is though withe the fading vermouth trend..... Vermouth goes bad. and rather quickly. most people don't use it much let alone refrigerate it. thus, most vermouth, even at MOST bars, is bad vermouth(bad vermouth coupled with my bad "ice" rant = bad martini)....do you have vermouth in your cabinet or fridge now? is it more than a week old? go spend 4.99 on a small bottle of martini and rossi (which is a fine mixing vermouth btw) and do a blind taste test between the week old and the fresh. then make a 2:1 martini with any sort of gin you prefer.

I beg of you to try.

my preffered method

1oz vermouth
2oz gin (i like hendricks for just regular up martini's, but ill get into that a little more, I prefer old tom in some and plymouth in some, junipero in some too)

put both in a boston shaker glass, crack 2-3 home freezer made ice cubes with the back of a bar spoon, they dont have to shatter, even if they crack in 2 is fine, then fill the rest of the shaker with ice, stir ~30 times, don't have to be super fast, let it sit while you ask a pretty lady at the bar for her number..(15 seconds if you are good, this is called "cooking" a cocktail) .then strain with a hawthorn or julep (I prefer julep strainers on stired cocktails, but up to you) strainer into a chilled (as described above) cocktail glass. garnish with 1 of my only 3 garnishes for this type of martini, a twist (lemon), a regular plain ol cocktail olive, or a cocktail onion.

lately, i've been doing 50/50's. 1:1 gin vermouth with Dolin vermouth (extra dry or dry) and Old Tom gin. talk about a good martini!

if i choose a gin more neutral in flavor, not something cucumbery like Hendricks or crazy like Junipero, I'll choose plymouth, and do 2:1 with a dash of orange bitters (fees , or regans, or..I really like Hermes) and an orange twist.

p.s. when we start arguing about manhattans, I'm going to reccommend you go out and buy abottle of Carpano Antica Formula sweet vermouth......sure its over 20$ a bottle, but I bet you'll enjoy drinking it straight on the rocks!!

bdl - you'd like this site. Cocktail Hacker guy pics a coctail, finds 20 ways to make it in say 20 different books, etc. then does them all and commentarys each variation.

p.p.s....dirty martini.....well, they are usually pretty **** dirty. think about the olive juice that the bartender has been most likely sticking his hands in all day to get cocktail olives out of the bin...ick. icky ick. they make it in a bottle now, but it went the same way that "sour mix" and roses lime juice went....bad...too bad to pour into a cocktail. So, just remember, if you order a dirty martini...its pretty dirty. (sans the .000001 of bars who don't stick there hands in the olive brine, and keep seperate bottles of REAL olive brine for dirty martini's...which are...in the end...another vermouth cop out!)
post #11 of 22
BDL - I SWEAR the dialogue in this is coincidental!!! look what someone just posted on a cocktail blog I follow!


Alcademics.com: Cocktail Snobs in 3D
post #12 of 22
Get yourself a copy of the William-Sonoma Bar Guide. Total Classe.

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.



Brot und Wein
(1 photos)

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.



Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
post #13 of 22
Randy P. That's very funny indeed. Something about that beard reminded me of someone ...


post #14 of 22
I have been following this thread quite closely, as I love well made "classic" cocktails, though I have to admit I am more a Manhattan guy than a Martini guy. I just have one issue to interject, to muddy the waters even more. Much of the talk is centered around the "proper" way to make a Martini, but my question is what version of the Martini constitutes the "proper" version? The Martini has been evolving since well into the 1800s. No matter which school of thought you belong to as to where the Martini originated one thing is relatively certain and that is the drink we call the Martini, at one time, from the late 1800s to at least the 1910s contained a dash of bitters, usually orange bitters. So far I have yet to see anyone really mention this in any of the discussion. As stated previously, over the years, the ratio has also changed greatly. So, again, I have to ask, what constitutes a "perfect" Martini? It seems that people from different eras would all have differing opinions.
post #15 of 22
>So, again, I have to ask, what constitutes a "perfect" Martini?<

According to the legendary Tom Leher:

Hearts full of light
Hearts full of truth
Six parts gin
To one part vermouth
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #16 of 22
Hey I mentioned Orange bitters!!!

Perfect is hard to answer, but "proper", id say is any variation pre-1980s!!!

perfect, of course, is exactly how you like it......be it an abomination of a "classic" version or not.
post #17 of 22
if you want to get "technical" with cocktail "names" a "perfect" martini is 1:1. :D

if you order a "perfect" martini at any of the "reputable" cocktail bar (by reputable I'm talking places like Pegu Club, CLover Club, PDT, Milk&Honey, etc in NYC Absinth in San Fran, even 7 grand in LA for you BDL) you'd get (hopefully) a 1:1.

otherwise known as a 50/50....

here is another article on the "perfect" martini by Robert Hess
DrinkBoy: The Perfect Martini
post #18 of 22
Sorry, I missed it in your recipe, but reading it again I see it. In general though, my point still stands. I can't recall how many conversations I have listened to between a couple of self proclaimed cocktail snobs (I am not refering to this conversation) where the 2 will argue endlessly regarding what makes the "perfect," "classic" Martini and I would say that only 1 in 15 or 20 of those conversations includes any mention of bitters. I fully agree that one should drink what one likes whether it is made in the "classic" style or some modern abomination, as you so eloquently put it RPM, but I do think that people are missing out when they don't take the time to try a cocktail made as it should be, by a bartender that knows what they are doing. A great example of that is the Old Fashioned drank here in Wisconsin. First off it is made with Brandy instead of whiskey, then, here in Wisconsin, most bartenders can't be bothered with separately adding bitters and the sugar either in granulated form or as simple syrup, so they often make a really poor premix of bitters and simple syrup that tastes horrible. Next you have the choice of it being sweet (sprite or sierra mist or something like that), sour (sour mix) or seltzer or pres (short for presbytrian-1/2 selter 1/2 sweet). The large tumbler that it is made in is then filled with this mixer. The final desecration is the garnish which can range from the standard orange and cherry to olives, pickled onions, mushrooms, etc. It's no wonder I rarely drink these anymore. I can't find a bartender that makes a good one here in Wisconsin.
post #19 of 22
an old fashioned is another age-old debate.

first its muddled fruit or not.....or muddled fruit and removed, or fruit garnish....

then its what spirit....you can old fashioned any spirit really. but brandy and rye or bourbon are most common.

then there is the addition of sweetness, depending on sugars, and water or seltzer or club or what have you.

for me....and for what I consider most traditional, is 1 cube of sugar, muddled with enough water to disolve it, then brandy or rye, and bitters. (angostura) I particularly like fruit (half an orange slice and a cherry) muddled with the sugar and water than removed...before adding the spirit, then garnishing with the other half of the orange and another cherry, but i can do fruitless too...what I dont care for is it being topped with anything else to water it down. for me, thats the ices job. granted topping with club is listed as "optional" in some classic recipes.

Im a big ran of rye, but lately....i admit ive made them with Four Roses bourbon and enjoyed.

next. lets argue the sazerac!!! haha. for me, dale degroffs formula mixing 50/50 rye and cognac does it for me (ive had it made by him and its amazing and its how i usually drink it, NRatched too its her favourite drink!) Lucid absinthe rinse, no ice for me. Peychaudes and 1 sugar cube (demerara or however you spell it, right now, I'm a little tipsy, its my birfday and Nratched cooked a **** GOOD dinner)

when we advance a little more I'll tell you about the kickass peruvian bitters I obtained for my Pisco sours. :D
post #20 of 22
For me an Old Fashioned needs to be whiskey, and it had better be bourbon. I can even accept Rye, though its my last choice. Fruit has to be muddled with the sugar, then add the bitters. Add ice and then the bourbon. Give a good stir then just a slight splash of seltzer, but only a small splash. Garnish with an orange slice and a cherry (preserved sour cherries if at all possible).
post #21 of 22
A head's up: like Joy of Cooking and How to Cook Everything, Mr. Boston is coming out with smaller, single-topic books. First up will be Holidays, to be followed by Summer. Each has about 100 recipes. Don't know if they are taken from the big book, but I suspect not. There is a long list of contributors for each, including many of the big names in cocktails: Dale DeGroff, Audrey Saunders, Robert Hess, etc. etc.

(Yes, these are another of the projects I've been working on. Just the editing; I'm mostly off drinking these days. :cry: )
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
post #22 of 22
Sounds exciting. Wonder if Audrey is putting her pine infused brandy cocktail in there (probably holiday) somewhere! I had one a couple of days ago at Pegu made with the new beefeater 24, and it was great....even in the spring!

Just hope they don't, how do I say this......screw it up...by writing recipes for the "masses" of sweet vodka cocktails. I don't expect them to....but, well...I'll be optimistic!
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