Bartenders on Their Final Drink and the Wisdom and Rituals of Closing Time
From the James Beard Award-winning author of Bitters and Amaro comes this poignant, funny, and often elegiac exploration of the question, What is the last thing you'd want to drink before you die?, with bartender profiles, portraits, and cocktail recipes.
Everyone knows the parlor game question asked of every chef and food personality in countless interviews: What is the last meal you'd want to eat before you die? But what does it look like when you pose the question to bartenders? In Last Call, James Beard Award-winning author Brad Thomas Parsons gathers the intriguing responses from a diverse range of bartenders around the country, including Guido Martelli at the Palizzi Social Club in Philadelphia (he chooses an extra-dry Martini), Joseph Stinchcomb at Saint Leo in Oxford, Mississippi (he picks the Last Word, a pre-Prohibition-era cocktail that's now a cult favorite), and Natasha David at Nitecap in New York City (she would be sipping an extra-salty Margarita). The resulting interviews and essays reveal a personal portrait of some of the country's top bartenders and their favorite drinks, while dozens of cocktail recipes and stunning photography make this a keepsake for barflies and cocktail enthusiasts of all stripes.
“Praise for Bitters: “Finally, here is an entire book devoted to the history, culture, and uses of the herbal elixir.” —Bon Appétit, “Best Cookbooks of 2011” “This is graduate-level stuff and would be a welcome addition to any cocktail geek's library.” —Wall Street Journal “Brad Thomas Parsons tracks the bitters boom in his new book Bitters, and manages to elevate herbs to an art form.” —Newsweek “Thanks to Brad Thomas Parsons’s inquisitive detective work, readers can discover how cocktail bitters rose from the ashes of Prohibition to become an indispensable ingredient for the country’s top mixologists.” —Jim Meehan, managing partner at PDT and author of The PDT Cocktail Book Praise for Amaro: "Brad Thomas Parsons’s Amaro: The Spirited World of Bittersweet, Herbal Liqueurs serves as an Alice-like rabbit hole allowing full immersion in the world of amaro..." —Wall Street Journal "With cocktail recipes, amaro-spiked desserts, and even a guide to making your own amari, this book is a comprehensive guide to the liqueur. But more than just a guide, Amaro is a book you actually want to read. It’s written by Brad Thomas Parsons, the author of the James Beard and IACP award-winning book on bitters, and its best feature are the recipe headnotes. Ranging from personal anecdotes about cocktails to multiple paragraphs about a classic’s history, you get fun, interesting context with every recipe." —Saveur "The man who might as well change his middle name to “bitter” is back with a follow-up to his award-winning Bitters. Beautifully photographed by Ed Anderson, Amaro is as much a desperately needed guide to the opaque and ill-defined world of bitter herbal liqueurs as it is a visual love letter to Italy. ... Parsons once again shows why he’s become one of the drink world’s most reliable voices." —PUNCH “Long before there were chef-driven cocktails, there were monk-driven digestivi, also known as amaro. They made us feel better, encouraged post-prandial discourse, and set us up for a better tomorrow. Thanks to Brad Thomas Parsons, we now have a book that properly celebrates the category, and teaches us just how sweet it is to drink what's bitter.” —Danny Meyer, founder of the Union Square Hospitality Group Praise for Distillery Cats: “Brad’s reporting on distillery cats actually moved me to take a tour of Scottish distilleries, microphone in hand, to meet some of the mousers in person. (And sample some of the product.) It was a hardship assignment, and I couldn’t keep at it for long. I am relieved to know that Brad has remained committed to the mission.” —Ari Shapiro, host of NPR’s All Things Considered “Cats + Booze! Brad Thomas Parsons has channeled his inner cat lady to discover the ultimate formula for happiness.” —Kerry Diamond, Cherry Bombe "The Best Food Book of the Year [...] Award-winning drinks writer Brad Thomas Parsons put together a collection of the country's most distinguished cats in a hilariously illustrated book that belongs on your shelf next to the Modernist Cuisine”