by Two Knights and a Maid, assisted by John Walker and the Haig Bros
Chicago: Buzza Company. FIRST EDITION. Original paper. RARE CLASSIC PROHIBITION-ERA COCK-TAIL BOOK, WITH THE RARE ORIGINAL CORKSCREW. "This rare Prohibition Era cocktail recipe book, die-cut in the shape of a cocktail shaker, was published in the U.S. in 1928, at the height of the Prohibition Era, flaunting the ban on alcohol with cocktail recipes by famous silent film stars, vaudeville performers and musicians, including W. C. Fields, Fanny Brice, Florenz Ziegfield, Ted Lewis and George Gershwin. "Bottoms Up is notable for two reasons. It was one of only a few cocktail books published in the U.S. during Prohibition, and it's the earliest known example of a book of cocktail recipes of famous celebrities. This is a natural pairing. While most Americans found it difficult or impossible to obtain alcohol during Prohibition, celebrities, especially in the entertainment business, thrived on the underground cocktail culture. "It's significant that "Tex" Guinan is included. Mary Louise "Texas" Guinan made her silent film debut in 1917 in The Wildcat, becoming America's first movie cowgirl, "The Queen of the West". "However Tex's importance in this cocktail book was her notorious reputation as the owner and manager of a Prohibition Era speakeasy called the 300 Club at 151 W. 54th Street in New York City. Her club was routinely raided by the police, but Tex always claimed that the patrons had brought the liquor in with them. The 300 Club was the gathering spot of New York's wealthy and famous, including George Gershwin, Reggie Vanderbilt, Gloria Swanson, Clara Bow, Irving Berlin, John Barrymore and Rudolph Valentino. Ruby Keeler and George Raft were discovered as dancers at Tex's 300 Club. "Each of the celebrity cocktail recipes concludes with a nostalgic "Do You Remember?" reminiscence of the grand bars, hotels and casinos that had once flourished before Prohibition. "The book also contains a page of Antidotes and Pick-me-ups, Helpful Hints for making cocktails, Rules of the International Bar Flies, The Amalgamated Order of Beer Shifters, and The Code of the Bar Flies. "Today's tradition of American cocktails primarily developed during, and because of, Prohibition. Cocktail books before this era were usually trade publications intended for professional bartenders. Then the 1920s and early 30s saw the emergence of do-it-yourself cocktail books, mostly published in England, France, Canada and Cuba, featuring the new explosion of cocktails that developed during Prohibition. Very few cocktail books were published in the U.S. at this time, since the ingredients weren't available, and Bottoms Up is the rarest of them all. So far, only two copies of this book are known to have survived" (Richard Powers, stanford.edu). Although rare, it is our experience that there are significantly more than two copies in existence. NOTE: Includes the very rare original corkscrew (which has been polished and cleaned). Chicago: The Buzza Company, 1928. 41 pp. Illustrated with photographs. 22.5x16 cm in the shape of a cocktail shaker, illustrated wrappers, string bound; custom olive-green silk box. Wear and a few chips to edges, minor pencil marks on a few blanks. A well-preserved copy of a very rare and fragile item.
(Inventory #: 1724)
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