Cocktail History in America: General Histories & Specific Topics (Pre-1806-present)

The guide includes information about materials in the History of Food & Drink Collection relating to cocktail history in America and related food, social, domestic, and economic history. It also has tools and resources for completing historical research.

Some Suggested Resources

Keep in mind the lists below are not all-inclusive. They are mostly some suggested readings available in Special Collections or Newman Library. A few of the sources are not available through the University Libraries. Materials are broken down into general categories, but you may see a single publication in more than one section if it has relevance to multiple topics. 

Alcohol, Spirits, Cocktails, & Customs

Books in Special Collections

  • Huckelbridge, Dane. Bourbon: A History of the American Spirit. New York: William Morrow, 2014. Call Number: TP 605 H83 2014
  • Phillips, Roderick. Alcohol: A History. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2014. Call Number: GT 2884 P45 2014
  • Purvis, Kathleen. Bourbon: A Savour the South Cookbook. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2013. Call Number: TX 736 P87 2013
  • Wilkes, Don. The Bachelor Book: A Goodly Collection of Recipes for Compounding Divers Delectable Mixtures, with Toasts Proper to the Ceremonial Drinking of the Same: To Which is Added Some Chafing Dish Menus Right Seemly forthe Creation and Appeasement of Appetite: Also, A Chapter on the Art of Carving in Good Company, A Dissertation on the Philosophy of Clothes in Modern Life, and Finally Some Minor Offenses. London: A. J. White, Limited, [1903?]. Call Number: RM 671 M6 W55 1903

Books/Items in Newman Library

  • Darwen, James. The Illustrated History of Whisky. London : Harold Starke, 1993. Call Number: TP 605 D37 1993
  • De Voto, Bernard. The Hour: A Cocktail Manifesto. Portland, Or. : Tin House Books, 2010. Call Number: TX 951 D44 2010
  • Edmunds, Lowell. Martini, Straight Up: The Classic American Cocktail. Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998. Call Number: TX 951 E325 1998
  • The Everyday Guide to Spirits and Cocktails. Call Number: DVD 4597
  • Getz, Oscar. Whiskey: An American Pictorial History. New York: McKay, c1978. Call Number: TP 605 G47
  • Gordon, Robert I. Cocktails and Snacks. Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday [1962]. Call Number: TX 951 L66 1962
  • Jarrard, Kyle. Cognac: The Seductive Saga of the World's Most Coveted Spirit. Hoboken, N.J. : John Wiley, c2005. Call Number: TP 599 J37 2005
  • Lanza, Joseph. The Cocktail: The Influence of Spirits on the American Psyche. New York : St. Martin's Press, 1995. Call Number: GT 2853 U5 L35 1995
  • Lewis, Richard W. Absolut Book: The Absolut Vodka Advertising Story. Boston, Mass. : Journey Editions, 1996. Call Number: HF 6161 L46 L48 1996
  • MacLean, Charles. Malt Whisky. London : Mitchell Beazley, 2010. Call Number: TP 605 M37 2010
  • Trommelen, Edwin, and David. Stephenson. Davai! : The Russians and Their Vodka. Molier, VT: Russian Life Books, 2012. Call Number: TP 607 V6 T76 2012  
  • Williams, Ian. Rum: A Social and Sociable History of the Real Spirit of 1776. New York, N.Y.: Nation Books, c2005. Call Number: TP 607 R9 W55 2005

Recommended Books (not in Special Collections)

  • Curtis, Wayne. And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten CocktailsBroadway Books, 2007. 
  • Holbrough, H. L. 100 Years of Cocktails: History and Recipes. 2012. via Amazon Kindle. 
  • Stewart, Amy. The Drunken BotanistAlgonquin Books, 2013. 

Distillation/ing, Distilleries, & Manufacture (including spirits, liquors, & wines)

Books in Special Collections

  • The Bordeaux Wine and Liquor Dealers' Guide: A Treatise on the Manufacture and Adulteration of Liquors. New York: Dick & Fitzgerald, 1858. TP 612 B7 1858
  • Hall, Harrison. Hall's Distiller: Adapted to the Use of Farmers as well as Distillers. Philadelphia: Printed by John Bioren, 1813. Call Number: TP 156 D5 H25 1813
  • Krafft, Michael. The American Distiller, or, The Theory and Practice of Distilling: According tto the Latest Discoveries and Improvements, Including the Most Improved Methods of Constructing Stills and of Rectification. Philadelphia : Printed for Thomas Dobson, at the Stone House, no. 41, South Second street, 1804. Call Number: TP 590 K89
  • Lacour, Pierre. The Manufacture of Liquors, Wines, and Cordials, without the Aid of Distillation: Also, the Manufacture of Effervescing Beverages and Syrups, Vinegar, and Bitters. New York: Dick & Fitzgerland, 1853. Call Number: TP 505 L32 1853 AND TP 505 L32 1863 (2 editions)
  • Monzert, L. The Independent Liquorist, or The Art of Manufacturing and Preparing All Kinds of Cordials, Syrups, Bitters, Wines...New York: Dick & Fitzgerald, 1866. Call Number: TP 612 M81 1866
  • Randolph, Mary. The Virginia Housewife: or, Methodical Cook. Special Collections and Newman Library include many editions of this book between 1824 and 2013. The general call number is TX 715 R215 [yyyy]. The 1836 edition is also available online through the Internet Archive.
  • Wilson, James Boone. The Spirit of Old Kentucky. [Louisville, Glenmore Distilleries, 1945]. Call Number: TP 605 W5 1945

Manuscripts in Special Collections

Bitters & Patent Medicines

Books in Special Collections

  • Burdock Blood Bitters: Almanac and Key to Health. Buffalo, N.Y. : Foster Milburn & Co. [1887]. Call Number: RM 671 B87 M5 1888
  • For Home Use: This Recipe Book, Containing Other Helpful and Relative General Information, has been Compiled for Private Personal use: Invaluable to the Host and Hostess. 8th ed. Port-of-Spain, Trinidad: Angostura Bitters Ltd., 1937. Call Number: TX 951 F66 1937
  • Lacour, Pierre. The Manufacture of Liquors, Wines, and Cordials, without the Aid of Distillation: Also, the Manufacture of Effervescing Beverages and Syrups, Vinegar, and Bitters. New York: Dick & Fitzgerland, 1853. Call Number: TP 505 L32 1853 AND TP 505 L32 1863 (2 editions)
  • Lydia E. Pinkham Medicine Co. publications. Some of our pamphlets from this company are cataloged. Other pamphlets are part of the Culinary Pamphlet Collection (Ms2011-002).
  • Monzert, L. The Independent Liquorist, or The Art of Manufacturing and Preparing All Kinds of Cordials, Syrups, Bitters, Wines...New York: Dick & Fitzgerald, 1866. Call Number: TP 612 M81 1866
  • Parsons, Brad T. Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All, with Cocktails, Recipes, and FormulasTen Speed Press. 2011. Call Number: TX 951 .P355 2011
  • Professional Mixing Guide: The Accredited List of Recognized and Accepted Standard Formulas for Mixed Drinks: Authentic, Practical, Concise. New York, N.Y.: Angostura-Wuppermann Corp., c1950. Call Number: TX 951 P75 1950

Places & Professionals

Books in Newman Library

  • Jones, Dorothy. Bars and Cocktail Lounges. [San Francisco : Bank of America N.T. & S.A., 1977]. Call Number: TX 950.7 J66 1977
  • Kirkby, Diane Elizabeth. Barmaids: A History of Womens Work in Pubs. Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University, 1997. Call Number TX 950.59 A8 K57 1997

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