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David Wondrich Talks About the Book That Launched the Cocktail Craze

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Published on Apr 25, 2015

David Wondrich not only won a James Beard award with his 2007 history of cocktails Imbibe!; he also helped launch the cocktail craze in the U.S. Wondrich returns with a greatly revised edition of Imbibe! that includes new detail on its protagonist, 19th century mixologist 'Professor' Jerry Thomas, as well as a new theory on the origin of the very word cocktail. Wondrich suggests the term comes from a 18th trick practiced by British horse traders who would put a clove of ginger in an old horse's 'fundament' to get the animal to cock its tail and get a better price at auction. 'A cocktail is something that cocks up your tail,' Wondrich writes. 'In America, the tails took a little extra cocking.'

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