Subgenre: pop culture, history, recipes, cocktails and bar culture
Source: Berea branch of the Madison County (KY) Library Public Library
The book is an easy read loaded with many interesting facts and stories. The book is organized into ten chapters; the last chapter is a collection of recipes from the Prohibition era. The author does indicate that not all recipes are for replication; he may have included them for historical value, but you probably should not drink them. Do not worry; he provides plenty of recipes too that you can drink today and even a non-alcoholic drink or two. In addition, the book includes a "Glossary of Volstead English." Another effect of Prohibition was the addition of a lot of new words and slang into American English; many of these words are still in use today.
I really enjoyed this book. If you enjoy U.S. history, this is a good book for you. Trivia fans will enjoy it as well. For example, I learned about other businesses related to booze that also flourished during Prohibition. Not many histories of Prohibition discuss that. Plus, if you are a cocktail enthusiast, there are many recipes here to try out. The book makes a good selection for public libraries. Academic libraries with an interest in popular culture may want to consider it.
4 out of 5 stars.
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Additional reading notes:
21st century revival speakeasies are glamorized versions of Prohibition reality where cocktail makers had to really be ingenious to take seriously raw alcohol and polish it to make into a drink that was actually drinkable. Yet Prohibition also did give rise to a cocktail culture and its trappings. And that interest in the trappings lives on today:
"Meanwhile, the same urge that has given the twenty-first century speakeasy has also given us a revival of interest in shakers, hip flasks, and the hardware trappings of Prohibition" (x).
More on that:
"Along with what some have termed the Cocktail Age came a certain style complete with sleek chrome cocktail shakers snazzy portable bars, Art Deco-styled bar tools, and streamlined cocktail carts" (27).