Blithe Spirits: A Toast to the Cocktail

Jill Spalding, Author Alvin Rosenbaum Projects, Incorporated $50 (207p) ISBN 978-0-87491-915-8
With society's decree of ``the deal'' as an art form, it is comparatively easy to swallow ``the cocktail'' as such as well. The cocktail is ``the most perishable of art forms,'' declares Spalding (Only The Best) in this less-than-intoxicating paean to the well-oiled, and to the oil itself. Quoting bon mots from bon vivants of the past, the author tells us about Oscar Wilde's visit to Chartreuse, where he learned the secret of the gods (``one third green, two thirds yellow'') and Samuel Butler's advocacy of asylums for teetotalers. As we journey from Prohibition-era Manhattan to Harry's Bar in Paris, we marvel at the libations served at an opening for a French artist which, with fidelity to his obsession with the color blue, colored the celebrants' urine that hue, discover that Betty Grable liked to dunk croissants into her Pink Lady and, additionally, are informed of several ways to spoil champagne. Recipes for Moscow Mule, Singapore Sling, etc., are also included in this collection of tidbits, which is copiously illustrated with ostentatious, contrived photographs. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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