Friday, October 7, 2011

Real About Rum (with a new drink recipe at the end)

Rum is in (and has been for some time).  Check out my latest blog post that goes into the types of rum and gives a new rum-based drink that I have been enjoying:

Friday, September 30, 2011

Basic Mixing Stock for a Superior Home Bar

(click on the page for an enlargeable image of it)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Greetings all!
I haven't been keeping up here...
Please check for recent posts on the other Elemental Mixology blog.
Please check for the book or courses or featured drink recipes.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Liquor Recommendations

My liquor recommendations is available to anyone interested as a .pdf file.  E-mail if you would like it.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Elemental Mixology Recipe Book - finally available!

This 720 page book (by myself) contains more than 3,500 drinks from a manageable number of easily-mastered basic forms that cover all types of mixed drinks, old and new, each one set to pre-prohibition standards, with historic sources noted, and presented in sections by genre and sub-genre - with a section of liquor recommendations, and a complete index of mixed drinks.
The book may be ordered through

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Elemental Mixology Courses News

I must announce that, since I am due to become someone's father in August, I will be taking a hiatus from the courses after that.  That means that the current courses listed at will be the last ones available for a while.  If you have been waiting to take the EMDC, the time to wait has ended!  The course will fill up quickly and this post must serve as everyone's fair and equal notice!
All is not lost for those who do not get in - the courses will resume in November.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Attention: Elemental Mixology Mixed Drinks Course Alumni

I am preparing a written test for the Elemental Mixology Mixed Drinks Course.  The test will not be a required part of taking the course.  Any student who chooses to take the test and passes it will receive a certificate to the effect that they have passed the EMDC test and will be given an e-mail address in the Elemental Mixology domain, should it be desired.  The addresses will be in the forms of:  (for women)  (for men)
That might be a more interesting e-mail address for a bartending resume or other drink-related endeavors.
When your address is set, an e-mail will be sent to your other e-mail address with confirmation of your address and a temporary password that you may change.
Any prior students who have completed EMDC within the past two years may take the test when I give it.  Anyone interested in repeating EMDC is always allowed to sign up for it at a discounted rate in the last week before the course begins, provided there are any spaces left.  More information about the course can be found at
Anyone interested in taking the test should e-mail me at:
 - Andrew

EMRT - Rare Liquors Tasting Available!

The Elemental Mixology Rarities Tasting is still open!  Come and taste 12 liquors that you can't buy in Los Angeles!  11 of them are unavailable anywhere in the U.S.A.  Follow the link below for more details:

Fabrication Course Open!

The Elemental Mixology Fabrication Course is still open.  Learn to make bitters, orgeat syrup, grenadine syrup, flavored brandy liqueurs and old-fashioned, lump sugar-rubbed sherbet from which to base traditional punches!  Each item fabricated during the course will be split up for the students to take home!  Go to and scroll down for the course dates - or click the "Elemental Mixology Courses in Los Angeles" link for the details.

EMDC Dates Set!

New Elemental Mixology Drink-making Course dates have been set for late Spring!  Go to and scroll down for the course dates - or click the "Elemental Mixology Courses in Los Angeles" link for the details.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Plattsburgh Blossom

There is a new drink by myself, the Plattsburgh Blossom, with the reason for the name given, and with punch and cocktail versions of the drink on my other blog at:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Traditional Units of Measure Pertaining to Mixology

After repeated requests from students, I have posted a new page on giving traditional units of measure pertaining to mixology.  The page can be reached through the link entitled "Traditional Units of Measure Pertaining to Mixology."
 - Andrew

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Books on Drink: A History (with ratings)

I am often asked about the books on drink that I read and recommend.  So I finally put this together.  It is by no means an encyclopedic listing of all books on drink, and the ratings reflect no one's opinions but my own.
- Andrew (the "Alchemist")

Books from this period usually group drinks by types with common discernable characteristics.  In this period, the cocktail is but one clearly definable type of drink.  Also, books from this period are faithful to the jigger (or wine-glass) as a unit of measure equaling two-fluid-ounces that is the basic portion of total liquor to be made into any type of mixed drink.  Where books from this era give recipes for single-serving drinks containing multiple liquors, they will jigger them together into a total of two-fluid-ounces.
During the Foundational Era, the majority of drinks are based on primary spirits, such as brandy, whiskey and rum.  But, gin is present and respected.
The Foundational Era begins with drinks already as-commonly sweetened by flavored syrups and liqueurs as they are by plain sugar or sugar syrup.
1827Cook, RichardOxford Night Caps3/55/5
1862Thomas, JerryHow to Mix Drinks4/55/5
1869Terrington. WilliamCooling Cups and Dainty Drinks4/53/5
1871Ricket, E. 
& Thomas, C.
The Gentleman’s Table Guide4/53/5
1878Engel, LeoAmerican & other Drinks4/52/5

1880 – 1908: THE GOLDEN AGE – the rise of gin and vermouth
Books from this period continue the practice of presenting drinks by types, and with the clear sense that cocktails are but one type of drink.  They also remain faithful to the jigger as a unit of measure equaling two-fluid-ounces that is the total portion of liquor in mixed drinks.
It is during the Golden Age that gin begins to be more popular than other spirits.  Also during this era, cocktails (real ones) that are sweetened by vermouth (in addition to – or instead of – sugar, syrups or liqueurs) become common.
1884Byron,  O.H.The Modern Bartender’s Guide4/55/5
& Fitzgerald
Jerry Thomas’ Bar-tenders Guide4/55/5
1888Johnson, HarryNew and Improved Bartender’s Manual4/55/5
1891Boothby, WilliamAmerican Bar-tender4/55/5
1892Schmidt, WilliamThe Flowing Bowl3/54/5
1895Kappeler, GeorgeModern American Drinks5/55/5
The above is one of the books that vie for consideration as the best all-around pre-prohibition drinks book.
1903Daly, TimDaly’s Bartender’s Encyclopedia4/54/5
1904Stuart, ThomasStuart’s Fancy Drinks and How to Mix Them4/54/5
The above is the same as the 1896 edition, but with a 1904 addendum of “New and up-to-date Drinks”
1908Boothby, WilliamThe World’s Drinks and How to Mix Them5/55/5
The above is one of the books that vie for consideration as the best all-around pre-prohibition drinks book.

1909 – 1919: THE LATE PRE-PROHIBITION ERA – the breaking of the cocktail
Books from this period often group drinks alphabetically, usually mis-calling many other types of drinks “cocktails” – as long as they are served ‘up.’  This formless, alphabetical approach will eventually contribute to the idea that knowing drink names is as important as knowing their natures.
During the Late Pre-Prohibition Era, gin has completed its rise and gin-based drinks become the norm.  Also, it was during this period that the first corruption of the Martini Cocktail gathered steam - with drinks such as the Good Times Cocktail and Hoffman House Cocktail being called "Martinis" or "Dry Martinis"
1910Grohusko, JackJack’s Manual on the Vintage and Production, Care and Handling of Wines, Liquors, etc.3/54/5
1914Straub, JacquesDrinks3/54/5
1917Bullock, TomThe Ideal Bartender2/53/5
1917Ensslin, HugoRecipes for Mixed Drinks3/54/5
1935Crockett, AlbertThe Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book4/55/5
The above is listed here for its transmission of the recipes compiled in the Waldorf Hotel Bar from 1897 through 1919.

1920 – 1934: THE PROHIBIITON ERA – the complete debasement of the cocktail
The Prohibition Era exhibits the supremacy of the image of the so-called “cocktail” over the elemental reality of the traditional type of drink by the same name.  For the first time, many books from this period actually call themselves “cocktail” books.  These books tend to force all new drinks into cocktail goblets.  This practice will eventually contribute to the breaking of the jigger.
The Prohibition Era continues the supremacy of gin, and actually expands upon it.
1922MacElhone, HarryHarry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails3/54/5
1922Vermeire, RobertCocktails: How to Mix Them3/54/5
1926John Hamilton Publishers, LimitedThe Cocktail Book3/53/5
1930Craddock, HarryThe Savoy Cocktail Book3/55/5
1932Sloppy Joe’s Bar (Cuba)Sloppy Joe’s Cocktails Manual3/54/5
1934Boothby’s World Drinks CompanyBoothby’s World Drinks and How to Mix Them2/55/5

1935 – 1949: THE REPEAL ERA – the breaking of the jigger
Books from this period expand upon the shortcomings of the earlier post-Golden Age eras by divorcing their recipes from the jigger as the basic two-fluid-ounce portion of total liquor in mixed drinks.  This is probably a consequence of the image-driven desire to fit drinks of various types into the iconic cocktail goblet.
It is noteworthy that during the Repeal Era, mixology begins to notice vodka.
1935Cotton, LeoOld Mister Boston De Luxe Official Bartender’s Guide3/54/5
1935Crockett, AlbertThe Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book4/55/5
The above is listed here for the drinks added by Crockett at the time of publication.  See the earlier listing of this book.
1939Baker, CharlesThe Gentleman’s Companion3/54/5
The above has been re-issued as “Jigger, Beaker, & Glass: Drinking Around the World.”
1946Beebe, LuciusThe Stork Club Bar Book3/53/5
1946Bergeron, Victor (“Trader Vic”)Trader Vic’s Book of Food & Drink3/53/5
1947Bergeron, Victor (“Trader Vic”)Bartender’s Guide3/54/5
1948Embury, DavidThe Fine Art of Mixing Drinks3/55/5

1950 – 1969: THE BLANK ERA – the rise of vodka
Not many drinks books seem to have been published during this era – hence its name.  Also appropriate to the name is the fact that during the Blank Era, vodka-based drinks become common, and nearly every bar begins to stock vodka.
It is noteworthy that during the Blank Era, tiki drinks enjoyed their greatest popularity.  Tiki drinks do not form a genre, elementally-speaking – most of them are punches of one sub-genre or another.  The unifying characteristic of tiki drinks is that they are all meant to be evocative of tropical exoticism.
1955Cotton, LeoOld Mister Boston De Luxe Official Bartender’s Guide3/54/5
1960Cotton, LeoOld Mister Boston De Luxe Official Bartender’s Guide3/54/5
1968Cotton, LeoOld Mister Boston De Luxe Official Bartender’s Guide3/54/5

1970 – 1999: THE DRINKS NADIR ERA – the supremacy of vodka
Books from this period expand upon the shortcomings of the earlier post-Golden Age eras by becoming completely devoid of any sense of basic portions of total liquor.
Many books from the Drinks Nadir Era contain the words “complete” or “bible” in their titles – the suggestion being that the purchase of one book (and the reference to – or memorization of – the formless recipes found therein) can substitute for mixological knowledge.
It is during the Drinks Nadir Era that the word “cocktail” (in its de-based, image-driven meaning) is partially abandoned in favor of the word “Martini” – which likewise becomes largely de-based.
During the Drinks Nadir Era, pre-mixes and artificial mixers become common.  Also, it is during this era that vodka-based drinks become the norm.
1977Jones, StanJones’ Complete Barguide3/55/5
1984Cotton, LeoMister Boston Official Bartender’s Guide3/54/5
1990Feller, RobynThe Complete Bartender1/53/5
1993Sennett, BobComplete World Bartender2/53/5
1995Schumann, CharlesAmerican Bar3/54/5
1999Regan, GaryThe Bartender’s Bible3/54/5

2000 – ????: THE DRINKS RENAISSANCE ERA – bar-lore and echoes of the Prohibition Era
Books (and bars) in this period tend to restore freshness to the sour element.  This restoration should not have been required to begin with, and it is perhaps a mistake to make much fuss over the return to fresh juices.  It’s a bit like bragging about having recently stopped cheating on a significant other.
The Drinks Renaissance Era sees the expansion of the use of the aromatic element, especially in the form of additive bitters, spices and aromatic produce.
A common theme in this era and its drink books is that of a return to “correct” mixology and “proper cocktails.”  Unfortunately, this does not include the return to the two-fluid-ounce jigger as the total portion of liquor in drinks – and many drinks are still served with too-much or too-little alcohol.  The ridiculously-oversized cocktail goblet is still the home of many non-cocktails.  There is a clear echo of the Prohibition Era in the fervent re-invigoration of the practice of mis-calling drinks “cocktails” to suggest their quality.  The word “cocktail” returns to the titles of books from this period more than in any other since the Prohibition Era.  Earlier books are widely reprinted during this era, but usually with a subtitle or blurb about them being “cocktail” books.
The word “mixology” is so loosely applied during the Drinks Renaissance Era that many actual mixologists abandon the word itself.
During this era, many bar professionals attempt to roll-back the use of the word “Matini” in its baseless, image-driven sense – even though they largely fail to do the same for the word “cocktail.”
It is probably a result of a generalized retrograde view that the Drinks Renaissance Era exhibits the ascendancy of bar-lore – the tales associated with the creation of individual historic drinks.  Bar-lore usually focuses on personalities and happenstance rather than mixological principles and evolution.  Unfortunately, bar-lore is often mistaken for mixology.
Likewise retrograde in view is the re-embrace of gin – a clear and deliberate echo of the supremacy of gin during the Prohibition Era.
Another echo of the Prohibition Era found in the Drinks Renaissance Era is the commercial success of the so-called ‘speakeasy’ type bar.
2002DeGroff, DaleThe Craft of the Cocktail3/53/5
2002Poister, JohnNew American Bartender’s Guide3/54/5
2003Regan, GaryThe Joy of Mixology3/54/5
2005Paragon Publishing1001 Cocktails3/54/5
2006Difford, SimonCocktails #63/55/5
2006Barton IncorporatedMister Boston Platinum Edition3/54/5
2008Albert, Bridget 
& Barranco, Mary
Market Fresh Mixology: Cocktails for Every Season4/53/5
2008DeGroff, DaleThe Essential Cocktail3/53/5
2008Difford, SimonCocktails #73/55/5
2009Difford, SimonCocktails #83/55/5
2009Difford, SimonDifford’s Encyclopedia of Cocktails {Cocktails #8}3/55/5
2010Abou-Ganim, Tony 
& Batali, Mario
& Faulkner, Elizabeth
The Modern Mixologist: Contemporary Classic Cocktails4/53/5
2010Difford, SimonCocktails #93/55/5
2010Kosmas, Jason 
& Zaric, Dushan
Speakeasy: The Employees Only Guide to Classic Cocktails Reimagined4/53/5