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Mondo Cocktail: A Shaken and Stirred History [Hardcover]

Christine Sismondo
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Nov. 2 2005
Part travelogue, part instruction manual, part bar philosophy, part discursive history, Mondo Cocktail: A Shaken and Stirred History fits into a larger genre than your average bartending book. It is a whimsical examination of the drinks that have captured our imagination and have symbolically identified certain areas and people all over the world.

Mondo Cocktail gives a careful anatomy of 12 classic cocktails and their origins, and teaches the reader far more than the proper method of making these concoctions. The book gives the reader all the requisite knowledge they will need for opening cocktail party conversation about the history of libation and its cultural importance, not to mention fun and entertaining trivia such as where and how Ernest Hemingway drank his Daiquiri; Abraham Lincoln's sordid part as a bourbon distiller; Kentucky and the Mint Julep; the Cuba Libre; the birth of the FDA as a precursor to Prohibition; the only recipe Jackie Kennedy pinned up in the White House kitchen; the world's first cocktail; the world's most expensive cocktail, and much more!

Beautifully packaged in a small hardcover edition and illustrated throughout, this is the perfect gift for the drinks connoisseur in your life.

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About the Author

Christine Sismondo is passionate about cocktails and their history. She has written for the Globe & Mail, the Literary Review of Canada, NOW Magazine, the National Post. Sismondo writes extensively on the restaurant industry, food and beverages and has tended bar for 15 years, delighting patrons with classic cocktails and idle chatter.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The wild world of cocktails exposed June 3 2007
Format:Hardcover
A wonderful, entertaining social history of the cocktail. Witty, exuberant, literate and great fun to read. It includes a chapter on the margarita (subtitled Irony, parody and Intertext) and another on sangrita (and the birth of feminism). This isn't a bartender's guide or a collection of recipes: it's a window into how cocktails intermingle with human history. But you will also get some wry comments on how to - or how not to - make a good margarita. As well as few other cocktails that may appeal to you.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but flawed. Dec 27 2005
By Dobbs - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
There are some really interesting tidbits in this book and I think it's a good read, most especially for some of the drink recipes (the one for Bourbon Sours is excellent). However, the author does tend to lose focus and ramble on about personal things that aren't even remotely as interesting as the non-personal anecdotes. In addition, when she refers to Allen Ginsberg as Allen Ginsburg and his famous poem as The Howl (it's just called Howl), her research talents (not to mention knowledge of things someone of her generation should be familiar with) are rather suspect. The rift between fact and error in that one example makes me seriously doubt the veracity of much of the book's other claims.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mondo Lit July 9 2006
By Ted Haigh - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Mondo Cocktail was an unexpected pleasure. I'm rather heavily invested in cocktail books, and a very small percentage of the ones in current distribution are worthy of their subject. Of those that are, I either know or have had some sort of interaction with all of their authors - at least I thought I had. I was woefully unaware of Christine Sismondo. Hers is a literary text, and that's a juxtaposition rarely found: the literary cocktail book. Like other nonfiction books of belletristic note, Mondo Cocktail draws from a wellspring of divergent citations, removed from the central (in this case) cocktail topic, and weaves them artfully into a persuasive narrative. It's both readable and sophisticated. It's also personal in that she stitches herself and her feelings about the subject into the larger tapestry, comfortably, but not self-consciously. She eschews the common stories with their predictable twists, instead opting for her own apparently depthy research. This personal approach invariably introduces elements in the writing with which I disagree, but what a fabulous time I had finding them.
5.0 out of 5 stars An Entertaining Read Aug. 8 2011
By Zzoe - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
It's not just about the recipes. This book weaved literature, history, culture together with alcohol to create an interesting and humorous book. It is light, yet academic in tone, interspersed with personal anecdotes. Since I am not an expert in the subjects of the books, I cannot speak to the accuracy of her research. However this is one of the most entertaining book I've read recently. I especially enjoyed the chapters on mojito, bourbon sour, and martini.
4.0 out of 5 stars Try the Margarita!! Jan. 31 2006
By Frankie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Best I've ever had. And I don't think the book was meant to be an academic history or anything as the other reviewers seemed to think - more of a humour book, really. I laughed. Out loud. On public transit. Read it at home if you're the easily embarassed type.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Drink Recipes are Awful Dec 31 2005
By Duski - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I tend to agree with the last reviewer--the author's research is spotty at best, yet she speaks with such authority as to brook no disagreement.

It's odd that she claims to draw on and respect the history of the cocktails contained, that she positions herself as a cocktail purist, and yet her recipes are almost unfailingly modern twistings of the originals.

The worst is her martini recipe: 5 drops of vermouth! That's not a martini, it's chilled gin.
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