Tom Bullock, esteemed bartender at the St. Louis Country Club, was able to work magic with beverages both alcoholic and not. He became the first African-American to publish a book on drinks, called The Ideal Bartender (1917), which featured an introduction by George Herbert Walker, a devotee of Bullock's and great-grandfather of our current president. In 173 Pre-Prohibition Cocktails: Potations So Good They Scandalized a President (Teddy Roosevelt's penchant for Bullock's juleps tainted his presidential bid), D.J. Frienz, who edited Good Things to Eat As Suggested by Rufus, brings together Bullock's original recipes with turn-of-the-century memorabilia and 20 pages of historical drink facts.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Frienz has copied famed African American bartender Tom Bullock's cocktail recipes from Bullock's 1917 book, The Ideal Bartender and mixed them with some very light historical background and a good shot of definitions of terms to concoct a novelty book of little consequence. Frienz favors atmosphere over substance. He gives no context as to drinking habits and the place of blacks in the drinking business in Louisville and Saint Louis, where Bullock plied his trade, or anywhere for that matter, and he makes big claims for historical hiccups (such as a supposed scandal following President Theodore Roosevelt's denial of having downed a cocktail). The recipes and illustrations hint at the world of men's clubs now past (indeed killed by Prohibition, which opened doors to women as coequal with men in speakeasies a fact Frienz ignores), but the book tastes like flat beer. Recommended only for the most avid, and thirsty, collectors of drinking trivia. Randall M. Miller, St. Joseph's Univ., Philadelphia
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.