Esquire's Handbook for Hosts

There seems to be a serious return to the classic cocktail underfoot. I personally can say that when I started drinking Rye Manhattans a few years ago it was a pretty remarkable shift in my perception and subsequent consumption of alcohol. I learned to appreciate the art of a rigorous ice cube and a well made drink. Recently a friend gave me the 1949 edition of the Esquire’s Handbook for Hosts. The book is a gold mine of old school drinking and party advice, everything from Stocking the Cellar to Highballs. There are literally hundreds of pages that I could have included. Some of my favorites below.

If you can’t be bothered to make a strong cocktail at home, I put together a list of New York bars that know the art of making a proper drink. The full map can be seen here.

Cocktails for the boys…

Cocktails for the girls…

High-res versions of the pages shown above can be found here.

Comments on “Esquire's Handbook for Hosts

    Ianon October 16, 2008 @ 12:11 PM:

    I like my liqour by itself, neat but some of these, such as the Ewing and the Brown University, sound simple enough for my minimalist drinking palette.

    chadon October 16, 2008 @ 12:51 PM:

    “Brainstorm” and “Horse’s Neck” sound great…and the old prose here is so appealingly sweet.


    james foxon October 16, 2008 @ 1:48 PM:

    love the name Horses Neck as well. awesome. great find.

    Michael Williamson October 16, 2008 @ 1:53 PM:

    By the way, the high-res scans can be seen on my flickr:

    I’ll update the post.


    vonwotanon October 16, 2008 @ 4:15 PM:

    This is my favourite party book! We also have the 1949 edition and use it for most of our traditional cocktail recipes plus, it provides 365 reasons/excuses for a party in any given year.

    joanna goddardon October 16, 2008 @ 11:07 PM:

    wow. i want to be a man when i read this.

    Ryanon October 17, 2008 @ 12:39 PM:

    This is great – ordering my copy today, hoping to glean old-fashioned ways to drink (like, I suppose, drinking Old-Fashioned’s) next week.

    Dr. Bambooon October 17, 2008 @ 2:05 PM:

    I also have the ’49 edition, and it’s a real treasure…a wonderful glimpse into entertaining in days past.

    samon October 18, 2008 @ 11:39 AM:

    Baker’s guide is good as well, the second is for drinks, the first for food.'s%20companion

    lucyon October 19, 2008 @ 3:35 PM:

    I love the images in this book. Also good is the Esquire Party Book, which I think is from ’65.

Comments are closed.