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How's Your Drink?: Cocktails, Culture, and the Art of Drinking Well
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How's Your Drink?: Cocktails, Culture, and the Art of Drinking Well

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  305 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Based on the popular feature in the Saturday Wall Street Journal, How's Your Drink illuminates the culture of the cocktail. Cocktails are back after decades of decline, but the literature and lore of the classics has been missing. John F. Kennedy played nuclear brinksmanship with a gin and tonic in his hand. Teddy Roosevelt took the witness stand to testify that six mint j ...more
Hardcover, 200 pages
Published October 28th 2007 by Agate Surrey
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This short read by frequent WSJ Off-Duty contributor Eric Felten is a great blend of history, trivia, and cocktail primers for the well versed or just interested drinker. If you want to make a drink then any bartender's guide will do, but if you want to know why a drink is made the way it is and how it all came about, this book is better.
Audra Jenkins
This is a fun, funny, and fast read that made me want to overhaul (or at least add to) my liquor cabinet. Great historical and anecdotal tidbits along with classic cocktail recipes. Love the writing which sometimes goes over the top, but feels tongue-in-cheek enough to not be pretentious.
Todd Melby
Great! Everything you wanted to know about the Bronx and other cocktails, including what drinks literary characters mixed. Example: Babbit was a poor maker of cocktails.
This book is a birthday present from my brother. And what a great book it is. It combines two of my favorite subjects, history and cocktails, using a style I love, a wry humor with a few jabs here and there.

To anyone who'll listen, I'll tell them I have created two drinks in my time. The first is a Fuzzy Redneck. I briefly bar tended in the mid '80's and the Fuzzy Navel was all the rage. A Fuzzy Navel is a screwdriver with peach schnapps. It's a horrible thing, akin to an Appletini in today's cl
This book is a delight! Felten is a true wit and accomplished collector of all the best anecdotes, myths, and literary tidbits about drink. While many books in this genre are meant (as often stated in introductions and forwards) to be read erratically, flipped through, referenced from time to time and possibly never truly completed, How's Your Drink? is a smooth journey from cover to cover. Even some of the classic histories are relived here as new, with a master's brevity. There's something abo ...more
I was excited to read this book, and while it wasn't bad, I agree with the review below, I was expecting more. While talking to a bartender at a local watering hole, he pointed me to a book called "Imbibe" which I promptly ordered from Amazon and started reading yesterday. That book is already exceeding my expectations. If you'd like a seriously academic study of drinking in America, I'd suggest the other book. If you'd like a breezy and entertaining guide to making famous cocktails, buy "How's ...more
Julie Davis
#45 - 2010.

I always enjoyed reading Eric Felten's weekly cocktail column in the Wall Street Journal and was very sorry when it recently ended. Luckily, this book conveys the interesting combination of history and drink that Felten is so good at writing. With delicious and carefully selected recipes, naturally! I have tried the Raspberry Shrub and found it delicious.
Rob Fisch
I had higher expectations for this one. At the very least I was hoping to walk away with a greater understanding of the history of certain cocktails and with the curiosity to try a few new ones. Nah, neither really happened. I ended up skipping quite a bit of this book because it didn't hold my interest. Now, if it included a taste-testing cocktail kit, that would have made it much better. :) In fact, if I applied myself more here, I could have made the cocktails myself and read about them while ...more
Saib Zada
constructed from line and imagination- then this is the guy to read.
Such an amazing read! Thoroughly enjoyed both the historical aspects of the book and the recipes and pure craftsmanship of the cocktails presented. Got a ton of great anecdotes to throw around at get-together's now!
Eric Felten is writing more detailed and carefully researched cocktail history than anyone else today -- his Saturday columns in the Wall Street Journal are well worth following. I was really looking forward to this book, and it didn't disappoint. Well, it did a little -- it's a collection of the columns, spliced together somewhat thematically, and the seams often show. I would rather just have had a compendium of columns. But that's a small quibble for getting to reread some great tales of grea ...more
Eric Felten is an elegant boozer. What would you expect from a guy who wrote a cocktail column for the Wall Street Journal and croons lounge standards at the Federalist Society gala? The man is classy and so are his favorite cocktails. He describes a hypothetical "perfect bar" and it sounds like heaven. The lore is fun and educational and the recipes are thoughtful and lean toward the tested and true. A good book for any serious cocktail mixer to have in his bar.
Sam Shipley
A wonderful "expanded" compilation of Felten's award-winning columns from the Wall Street Journal. Anyone interested in the history of cocktails would love this book as it touches upon some of the most famous - and not so famous - potables. Aside from the history, Mr. Felten also weaves in stories of colorful characters and episodes that helped to make each drink a legend.

A fun read that I would recommend to give as a gift - but read first.
An informative, though not overly exciting discussion on the history of certain cocktails. Felt some of his recipes were misguided, or lacking any creativity. I understand he is following an historic approach to the cocktail formulas, but wondered why he had to do so with such rigidity? That being my only complaint. I did enjoy the book thoroughly.
It's like reading the origins of the super heroes but for cocktails. Also its funny, and not at all like a comic book.

This is a fun way to learn about many of the classic cocktails complete with great storytelling and simple but delicious recipes.

Looking forward to making some shrub this summer.
David Macpherson
This is so fun a book that I hate returning the borrowed copy I was lent. But I will Ted, I will. The history of cocktails is done so well and informatively, it makes me want to have a drink or three. Well written and funny, hell of a good time.
Nov 08, 2009 Ben rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: food
A wonderful little ode to the cocktail. Playfully written, with selected drink histories and recipes throughout. Felten writes about cocktails not as a detached chronicler but as an enthusiast for a well made drink and the joy of social libation.
Loved this book, as I do his columns in the Wall Street Journal from which the book was mined. For a second reading, would like to make/drink each cocktail while reading the relevant chapter.
Great little book with anecdotes about the origin of cocktails both well-known and obscure. Plus some decent recipes, to boot. Quick read, worth it for any cocktail enthusiasts.
Cocktails are endlessly fascinating, at least to hear Felten tell it. Makes me want to stock the old bar and mix away the nights....
Loved it. The book was more then just a collection of random recipes, but quotes and histories to go along with the cocktails. Excellent.
Fascinating trip through the past examining the origins of drinks familiar (martini) and not so familiar.
A solid light read.
Aug 26, 2013 Andrew marked it as to-read
Shelves: buzzfeed
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