Book Review: How to Booze: Exquisite Cocktails and Unsound Advice

Book Review: How to Booze: Exquisite Cocktails and Unsound Advice

This mixology manual from veteran writer Jordan Kaye and co-author Marshall Altier tries to spin the usual, tired, organized-by-spirit cocktail manual by taking its several dozen drinks – mostly classics, with just a handful of originals thrown in – and offering “The Right Drink for Every Situation.”

Neat idea, and in Kaye and Altier’s world, many of those situations have to do with sex – at least, the first 58 of the 170-or-so pages do. Such is life, perhaps.

I’m hard-pressed to agree with the book’s situational advice. While each cocktail’s case is (sort of) made, does a Pisco Sour really go better with “Stalking your ex” than a French 75 (reserved here for sleeping with your unfaithful partner’s best friend)? The quirks don’t let up, which makes it one of those books that is better fit for toilet-side reading than for practical use in your bar.

That said, Kaye and Altier offer a lot of interesting and informative discussion about cocktails when they aren’t giving you relationship advice (which, I suppose, is part of the bartender’s job) – and it is the only book I’ve ever seen that discusses the pickleback (shot of Irish whiskey, shot of pickle juice) – which the book says is a good variant for “after work.” Sounds about right to me.


How to Booze: Exquisite Cocktails and Unsound Advice




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.