Discover more from The Mix with Robert Simonson
“The Encyclopedia of Cocktails” Is Just One Month Away!
Well, autumn, the greatest season of the year, is almost here and with it the beginning of the new cultural season. My small contribution to that is The Encyclopedia of Cocktails, an informative and (I hope) entertaining compendium of the drinks, bars and bartenders that have composed cocktail culture over the past 200 or so years. The volume, which was edited by Kim Keller, designed by Annie Marino and features illustrations by Suzanne Dias, will step into this world almost exactly one month from now: October 17. (Various samples of Dias’ work can be found throughout this post.)
The Mix with Robert Simonson is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
There will be several fun book events happening across the nation in the coming months. Here is the calendar so far. If you live in the area, I hope you will stop by.
Oct. 16: Official New York Book Launch: I’m returning to the Manhattan bar and restaurant Porchlight again this year to launch The Encyclopedia of Cocktails, as part of the Porchlight Book Club. Porchlight was the site of last year’s rousing launch party for Modern Classic Cocktails. Ticketed guests will get a copy of the book and drink tickets. Details to come. As with last year, there will be some well-known guest bartenders behind the stick; the line-up will be announced soon. Watch the Porchlight site for ticket information in the coming days.
Oct. 18: Seattle Book Launch: The excellent culinary book store Book Larder will host me in a conversation with Imbibe Editor-in-Chief Paul Clarke. Books will be available for purchase and signing. 6:30-8 p.m. Free!
Oct. 21: San Francisco Book Launch: I will be returning to the wonderful culinary book shop Omnivore Books for a talk and signing. 3 p.m. Free!
Oct. 21: San Francisco’s Bar Agricole will host me for a ticketed event featuring drinks (some of the best in the nation), food and cocktail talk. Details to be announced soon. Keep an eye on the Bar Agricole site for news.
Oct. 26: Legendary barman Dale DeGroff will join me for a sit-down cocktail dinner at Stage Left Steaks in New Brunswick, New Jersey, home of the oldest craft cocktail program in the state. Watch the Stage Left site and this space for details.
Nov. 25: Rainbo Club, the legendary bar and music venue, will be the site of the Chicago launch of The Encyclopedia of Cocktails. This will be an event to catch. As far as we know, this is the first book event Rainbo has hosted in its near-century of business. A couple famous Chicago cocktail bartenders, Lynn House and Charles Joly, will be behind the bar. Discounted Manhattans and Old-Fashioned will be served.
As mentioned in the past, subscribers with Bar Regular status on The Mix will be invited to a Zoom cocktail hour on Oct. 17, the book’s release date. Bar Regulars will be contacted directly in the weeks to come with details on that virtual get-together! Bar Regulars should also check their mail regularly between now and Oct. 17 for their signed copy of The Encyclopedia of Cocktails.
While we’re all waiting for the fun to begin, here is a sample recipe from the book:
1 1/2 ounces gin
1 1/2 ounces dry vermouth
2 dashes orange bitters
2 dashes maraschino liqueur
2 dashes absinthe
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass half-filled with ice. Stir until chilled, about 15 seconds. Strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with an olive.
There are, of course, other food and drink books coming out this fall. Here are a few that I am looking forward to:
Juke Joints, Jazz Clubs, and Juice: A Cocktail Recipe Book: Cocktails from Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks by Toni Tipton-Martin (Clarkson Potter, Nov. 14).
Signature Cocktails by Amanda Schuster (Phaidon, Oct. 4).
The World in a Wineglass: The Insider's Guide to Artisanal, Sustainable, Extraordinary Wines to Drink Now by Ray Isle (Scribner, Nov. 14).
Diner: Day for Night by Andrew Tarlow (Ten Speed Press, Sept. 26).
All of next week, I will be tending bar and serving up cocktails at the Door Kinetic Arts Festival in Door County, Wisconsin. The arts festival will run Sept. 18-23 at the Bjorklunden complex. Among the artists taking part are celebrated theater composer Ricky Ian Gordon, singer Morgan Middleton, playwright Brian James Polak and composer David Bird. Nightly tickets are $20 and a weekly pass is $60. Cocktails will be served each evening. If you are in the area, please stop by for a drink and a performance. I will also be conducting a cocktail workshop on Friday, Sept. 22, at 4 pm. To attend, you can either purchase a ticket at $20; present your weekly pass; or present proof of a pre-order of The Encyclopedia of Cocktails. It is vitally important for every community in the United States to support their local arts community. I strongly urge the citizens of Door County, as well as the owners of local bars and businesses, to come and check out what we’re doing at Bjorklunden. I also urge members of other Door County arts organizations—The Peninsula Players, Door Shakespeare, Birch Creek Music Center, Third Avenue Playhouse and Northern Sky Theater, including many others—to come an see what your fellow artists are up to. See you there!