Cocktails Galore. If I were to give The Savoy Cocktail Book a nickname, Cocktails Galore would be it.
[/note]The Savoy Cocktail Book contains over 700 cocktail recipes and a section on wine. Complied by Harry Craddock, the head bartender of the American Bar at the famous Savoy Hotel, the book describes itself as “a complete compendium of the Cocktails, Rickeys, Daisies, Slings, Shrubs, Smashes, Fizzes, Juleps, Cobblers, Fixes, and other drinks know and vastly appreciated [in the] year of grace 1930.”[note]Craddock, Harry. The Savoy Cocktail Book. Mansfield Centre, CT: Martino, 2013. Print.[/note]
That is a pretty big statement and although The Savoy Cocktail Book does contain many of the recipes of the time, it doesn’t address the fact that a good handful of those recipes were originally from another cocktail book.
Apparently, at least 146 of the recipes in the famous book came straight from Hugo R. Ensslin’s 1917 cocktail guide entailed, “Recipes for Mixed Drinks.”[note]”The Most Influential Cocktail Book to Date.” Washington Post. The Washington Post, n.d. Web. 23 June 2016.[/note]
While Craddock never states that he created the recipes in The Savoy Cocktail Book (the book states the recipes were complied by him), he could have at lease given Ensslin a shout out, you know…maybe some show of camaraderie for his fellow bartender.
Either way, the recipes are mostly delicious, and Craddock’s quirky comments peppered throughout the book add charm.
Comments like, “What has Bruce Barton got to do with this?” after a recipe called the Barton Special Cocktail, presumably referring to author Bruce Fairchild Barton, or “Simply splendid. Better than 11,000 volts,” referring to the Third Rail Cocktail, add a bit of dry humor and a touch of his personality to the book. Craddock was probably an interesting guy to hang out with.
With amusing remarks from Craddock, and delicious cocktail recipes, it’s obvious why The Savoy Cocktail Book has become a must read for craft cocktail enthusiasts.
You may look at my photos of the book and think…this doesn’t look old. You’d be correct. My copy is absolutely not an original. If you ever see an original copy, let me know! I’d love to see it 🙂
Recipes from The Savoy Cocktail Book Featured on Cup of Zest: