Book Review: Vintage Cocktails

Book Review: Vintage Cocktails

Amanada Hallay’s Vintage Cocktails: Retro Recipes for the Home Mixologist takes advantage of the classic cocktail resurgent, presenting a solid 70 or so cocktails, all of which you’ve likely had once or at least read about in a cocktail recipe book and dismissed as sounding like swill.

There’s plenty of classic stuff in this book – big names like the Bellini, Daiquiri, and Negroni – along with a few unusual choices – the Snowball, the Diplomat – all introduced with Hallay’s sassy, blog-like chitchat telling you about the history of the cocktail and, more often than not, quoting a movie in the process.

There’s a lot of chatter in this book – those 70-some recipes span well over 200 pages – and each is illustrated (also in retro fashion) by David Wolfe. This all of course means that the book is not exactly the kind of thing that you’ll find on the shelf of your local bar — the subtitle makes that clear — but, thanks to the pastel color palette, is more likely to end up as a bachelorette party gift for the girls. That’s not a criticism, and if you want a cute compilation of cocktail highlights this is a fine tome. If you really want an in-depth look at true retro drinks – crustas, flips, and the like – you’ll need to dig deeper into something like the Savoy Cocktail Book.


Vintage Cocktails




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.


  1. David on July 24, 2012 at 9:00 am

    Hello my name is David, I reside just outside Toronto Canada, I don’t your interested in what I
    may have but I stumbled across your site and saw “vintage cocktails”.
    I have an original 1914 Jacques Straub “Drinks” cocktail hand book. I’ve had it for over 40yrs.
    Everywhere I’ve checked reguarding this book they all are after his death in 1920 and
    written on behalf of his estate( Marie Straub).
    This book is in excellent shape and rare. Especially since I can’t find even one that was before his death.
    This is a 1st edition. If you so enjoy vintage and antique drinks than Jacques Straub was the master
    and founder of most of what we know today.
    If your curious or interested please if your time permits do a little research and we can possibly help each
    other. I willing to part with it if it interest you.

    Well thks for your time sincerely, David

  2. Theo Lieberman on July 28, 2012 at 11:54 am

    I would be extremely interested in your copy of jacques straub. Please send me an email at [email protected] if you are interested in selling it. Thanks, Theo

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