Destination Cocktails: The Traveler's Guide to Superior Libations

James Teitelbaum. Santa Monica, $19.95 trade paper (416p) ISBN 978-1-59580-072-5
An exuberant celebration of dives, lounges, and upscale watering holes around the globe, Teitelbaum's guide to craft cocktails is a must-have for road-trippers and jet-setters looking to wet their gullet. Readily acknowledging the pretentiousness that can accompany many a libation and drinking establishment ("Sleeve garters, a mustache, and a bottle of Peychaud's bitters do not a skilled bartender make."), Teitelbaum is reverent but realistic when it comes to breaking down a bar scene. Expected landmarks like NYC's Please Don't Tell, San Francisco's Bourbon & Branch, and Harry's New York Bar in Paris are featured, but Tietelbaum diligently includes plenty of equally inviting lesser known venues, like the Museum of the American Cocktail, fittingly located in New Orleans, the pirate-themed PX in Alexandria, Virginia, and Tokyo's Y&M Kisling, whose bartenders "take whole courses on ice as part of their training." Tietelbaum (Tiki Road Trip) is an adventurous tippler and an enthusiastic guide, though his writing skills are not as developed as his palate. An irritating habit of beginning entries with "there are two types of [bars/bartenders/cocktails/etc.] in the world," and his insistence on referring to his female drinking compatriot as "Gal Friday Night" quickly loses its novelty. If readers can get past his prose and consume the book in small doses (just like its subject matter), they'll have a fine time planning their next boozy outing. Photos. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/10/2012
Release date: 09/01/2012
Genre: Nonfiction
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