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Books: Waldorf Bar Book

The stories and cocktails from the early days of the Waldorf are, well, intoxicating.  You’re going to love this book.


Somewhere in a snobby cocktail bar in Brooklyn or Wicker Park, a mustached mixologist is about to roll his eyes at our recommendation for The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book.  Not because it’s not great, it is.  But because everyone with any kind of drinks guide library picked this up more than ten years ago after they released the first reprinting.  It’s true, we’re way late to this party, but will dare recommend that you pick up a copy anyway.  It’s wonderful!

Here’s what to expect:

From pre-Civil War bartending to the night clubs of the 1940s, these bar books document the trends of their respective eras. Beginning with the first known recipe book compiled for those seeking to serve sophisticated beverages, through the birth of many of the 21st century’s drink standards and the tales of those who consumed them, these drink guides provide an insider’s glimpse into the excess and splendor of the pre- and post-Prohibition eras.

Based on the actual bar book used by the Waldorf-Astoria prior to Prohibition, this collection of cocktails serves up more than 350 recipes. In addition to documenting the origin of many cocktails and mixed drinks still commonplace today, the book chronicles the background of their creation and the antics of some of the cronies – Buffalo Bill Cody and Bat Masterson, among others – who were regulars at the bar.

Pick up a copy of The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book at Amazon or your favorite local book store.