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The Savoy Cocktail Book

cover of Savoy Cocktail Book

When passage of the 18th Amendment in 1919 ushered in the era of Prohibition in the United States, an English bartender named Harry Craddock, who had mixed drinks at the Hollenden Hotel in Cleveland, OH and the Knickerbocker Hotel in New York City, left the US and returned to the UK so he continue working in his chosen profession. He took a job at the American Bar in London's Savoy Hotel in 1920. While working there, he compiled The Savoy Cocktail Book, first published in 1930.

Special Collections & Archives holds copies of the first edition of The Savoy Cocktail Book. Craddock included recipes from well-known bartenders he worked with or knew of in the US and the UK, including those from previous generations that had been passed down. He also included recipes for popular mixed drinks he invented himself, including the Corpse Reviver (No. 2).

Dedicated to its readers, the volume includes a series of cheeky and humorous introductory statements in its Preface and Foreword that refer to Craddock in the third person, alongside practical advice about how to mix drinks well. Home bartenders are advised they should "Never use the same ice twice," that "ingredients mix better in a shaker rather larger than is necessary to contain them," and that "Harry Craddock was once asked what was the best way to drink a Cocktail: 'Quickly,' replied that great man, 'while it's laughing at you!'"

Recipes for over 700 cocktails are included in the book, often surrounded by artist Gilbert Rumbold's extensive art deco-style illustrations. Craddock even added personal commentary after some cocktail recipes. He says the French "75" Cocktail "Hits with remarkable precision." Beneath the recipe for Sunset Cocktail, he remarks "The next thing you know about is sunrise."

In its final pages, a short essay titled "Concluding Remarks about Special Occasions," advises the home bartender to serve the appropriate drink for each occasion. When visited by a creditor, he suggests "you will not appease him by offering to split a bottle of Champagne with him, pleading the ghastliness of your poverty the while." He also recommends you "never offer ginger-beer to the lady whose favour you intend to curry," and that "Port should rarely be served at breakfast."

Title page, Savoy Cocktail Book
Dedication page, Savoy Cocktail Book
Foreword, Savoy Cocktail Book
Historical Note, Savoy Cocktail Book
Cocktail recipes, Savoy Cocktail Book
Cocktail recipes, Savoy Cocktail Book
Cocktail recipes, including Craddock's Corpse Reviver (No. 2), Savoy Cocktail Book
Cocktail recipes, including the French "75" Cocktail, Savoy Cocktail Book
Cocktail recipes, including the Los Angeles Cocktail, Savoy Cocktail Book
Cocktail recipes, including the Sunset Cocktail, Savoy Cocktail Book
Conclusion, Savoy Cocktail Book
End papers, Savoy Cocktail Book

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