How to Mix Drinks or The Bon Vivant’s Companion: The Bartender’s Guide

A true classic, How to Mix Drinks or the Bon Vivant’s Companion: The Original Cocktail Guide was the very first drink book ever published in the United States, back in 1862.

Jerry Thomas, considered by many to be the “Father of American Mixology,” wrote this historical hardcover bartending guide filled with a plethora of cocktail recipes – both classic concoctions How to Mix Drinks Bon Vivants Companion Bookand ones he’s developed himself, like punches, tinctures and more.

Drink categories run the gamut from sours, to fizzes, to highballs, enhanced with instructions for how best to use bar tools, such as jiggers and ponies. Finally reprinted, the original 1862 edition is now available, complete with introduction and appendix by one of our modern mixologists, David Wondrich.

Celebrate America’s bartending history with Jerry Thomas’s own signature, straight from the book, The Blue Blazer, whose ingredients are not wildly imaginative, but rather, the method for mixing it is (pyro readers out there, this one’s for you):

The Blue Blazer
2½ oz Scotch whiskey
2½ oz boiling water
1 tsp powdered sugar
lemon peel

“Put the whiskey and boiling water in one mug, ignite the liquid with fire, and while blazing mix both ingredients by pouring them four or five times from one mug to the other. If well done, this will have the appearance of a continued stream of liquid fire.

Sweeten with one teaspoon of pulverized white sugar and serve in a small bar tumbler, with a piece of lemon peel.

The Blue Blazer does not have a very euphonious or classic name, but it tastes better to the palate than it sounds to the ear. A beholder gazing for the first time upon an experienced artist compounding this beverage, would naturally come to the conclusion that it was a nectar from Pluto rather than Bacchus. The novice in mixing this beverage should be careful not to scald himself. To become proficient in throwing the liquid from one mug to the other, it will be necessary to practice for some time with cold water.”



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