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EVER HEARD ABOUT STAN JONES?

stan_jones

In 1977 a book was written by a man named Stan Jones.

He was a bar manager in California (he lived in the San Fernando Valley) with a great experience from both the restaurant and beverage industry. What sets him apart is that he wrote the first book for professional bartenders in some 30 years and that he did during a time that is likened to the dark ages of cocktail mixology as the art of mixing drinks was almost lost and replaced with a phletora of crappy drinks made from canned juices, cloingly-sweet liqueurs, instant powder-mixers and cheap vodka.

It was a time when real crafted cocktails was more or less forgotten and most people didn´t like the flavour of the spirits because their palates wasn´t used to it and preferred drinks where the taste of alcohol was either non-existant or thoroughly masked by a curtain of bad mixers.

And from there we have gone quite a long way until where we are now.

The book is called Jones’ Complete Bar Guide and contains no less than 4000 cocktail recipes plus in-depth history of cocktails including detailed notes on all the major and also many minor spirits categories. According to what i`ve heard Jones’ source for classic recipes was some edition of Patrick Gavin Duffy’s Mixer’s Manual and the 4th update of Mr Boston among others but i can`t confirm that.

Of course with that amount of recipes – all can´t be good and isn`t but you`ll definetily have a hefty treasure chest to dig into. You`ll also find many variations of the same drinks which can be quite interesting.

Anyway, the point is – he is much responsible for where we are today when we see a new renaissance of the classic cocktails. Important to note is that the CocktailDB uses recipes from his book and at the beginning of the cocktail renaissance that website was (and is) important and that has had an impact as well.

Today Jones’ book is a collector’s item and i think we owe this man a great deal of respect and honor. At the CSOWG Stan has been adopted our patron saint for the Mixoloseum and his stern look is always there to make  sure we don´t screw up our cocktails.

The awesome drawing of Stan for Mixoloseum was made by Dr Bamboo.

stan-the-man

Dr Bamboo wrote: “Waving a giant banner bearing Stan Jones likeness, they invaded a fairly sedate stretch of Rampart street and set up a base of operations from which both cocktails and cocktail knowledge would issue forth.”

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Pictures of Stan in the year 1976 and the book courtesy of Greg Boehm at Mud Puddle Books.

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13 comments to EVER HEARD ABOUT STAN JONES?

  • I think the real question here is: What Would Stan Jones Do?

  • Does anyone know where Stan is today? He is probably in his early 60′s and may be still behind the stick somewhere.

  • Poor Stan has gone to the great bar beyond, I’m afraid. I’m sure he’s mixing drinks for Karl Malden and Walter Cronkite as we speak. With dashes of amaretto and galliano, to be sure.

  • Alas, Stan Jones is dead. Long Live Stan Jones!

  • I’ve seen that pic of St. Stan at least a hundred times before, and only now did I notice the frigging GORILLA PAWS that guy has for hands!

  • Tiare

    Made to steadily hold a shaker.

  • [...] cocktail expert Robert Hess found this recipe in an old cocktail recipe book titled Jones Complete Bar Guide (1977). Here’s the video and [...]

  • Robert

    I knew Stan when he worked at Little Tony’s while he was working on his book. He always told me “3 – 6 months till I publish it”. It was a long 3-6 months. When he finally did publish it, he gave me an autographed copy. Which I still have. In addition, he and I invented two drinks that are in the book (the Monty and the Monty Special). I highly recommend them. In addition, a highly recommend the Treasure Island Special. Drink one and you’ll feel no pain.

  • Robert

    Rest in Peace Stan. You were a great Bartender and friend. You are missed.

  • Ana Jones

    Hi all!!

    Umm…so my dad’s best friend just stumbled upon this site recently. Guess what? I’m Stan Jones’ daughter!!! I’d love to meet anyone who knew him (Robert?) and hear old war/bar stories;)

    I’d also LOOOOOVVVEEE to have one of these T-shirts & pins with his likeness on it. Way cool. If someone could point me to the artist or anyone who would be gracious enough to give me one for free:) That would be awesome! Also, I still have a small collection of extra cook books and bar guides if anyone is interested:)

    Makes me happy to see he made such a lasting impression on the world:)

  • Hi Ana! nice to meet you! i will see if there´s something that can be done to get you in contact with the ppl who made those t-shirts, that a couple years ago though. But i will forward your message to them!

    As for the cook and bar books i`m very interested to hear what you got, you can e-mail me at amountainofcrushedice@gmail.com

    And fyi…the csowg (cocktail and spirits online writers group) have Stan Jones as their “patron saint” :-)

  • Ana, please e-mail me! i think something can be done about the tshirts and stickers etc.

    Tiare

  • Todd

    I spent many hours drinking (probably with Robert) at Little Tony’s. They had 50 cent well drinks for happy hour. I was looking for my Bar Guide when I found this website. Sorry he’s gone – but God is drinking some awesome cocktails…

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