Why did I love this book?
IMBIBE! earns its all-caps title and exclamation point because it is the undisputed “bible” of cocktail books. As a longtime historical researcher, I marveled at Wondrich’s deep dive into the backstory of innumerable drinks, bars, and bartenders, together with their histories, eccentricities, and achievements. Along the way, I found Wondrich to be a master librarian of the bar books compiled and published from the late 1700s colonial days to recent times. IMBIBE! includes author-tested recipes, situates the drinks in their historical moments, and profiles marquee mixologists, especially the Founding Father of cocktail culture, “Professor” Jerry Thomas (b.1830), whose How to Mix Drinks launched the Golden Age of Cocktails. Wondrich’s graceful prose glides with pleasing flair, rather like a fine cocktail.