Book Review: A Proper Drink by Robert Simonson


Proper Drink: The Untold Story of How a Band of Bartenders Saved the Civilized Drinking World by Robert Simonson

Ever give any thought as to why you’re starting to see variations of Moscow Mules everywhere? Why craft distilleries are taking off across the country? Why suddenly your local bar has started carrying more than Pepe Lopez and Burnetts Vodka in their well?

Well wonder no more! Simonson, a writer for the New York Times, has put together a detail-rich history of the craft cocktail movement over the last two decades. The renaissance we are currently experiencing is largely due to the efforts of a handful of bartenders and their proteges in cities like New York, London, and San Francisco. Eschewing the sour mix in favor of fresh ingredients, quality liquor, and classic (sometimes extinct) recipes, these guys (and girls) have literally changed how most of the Western world drinks.

Simonson’s history is ordered by chronology and geography, and each chapter focuses on one or two trendsetters. As a bonus, each chapter also features a drink recipe or two (which I cannot wait to try!).

This book is more aimed at aficionados, and those with a more casual interest might find themselves drifting at some points. But in all this is an exhaustively researched and interesting look into the origins of craft cocktails and the modern drink renaissance.

A copy of this book was provided by the Publisher via Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. A Proper Drink is currently available for purchase.