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