Friday, December 3, 2010

The Code of Conviviality

I recently ran across a very cool cocktail book at my local used book store. Since then, I have become rather obsessed with it. This combined with the fact that I have more than a passing obsession with 1) booze of all types (this is how I have made my living) and  2) entertaining people I have decided to follow one of my favorite movies and do a Julie and Julia inspired blog. Only with booze and not butter. I might not be as strict as Julie was either. We are talking about booze. And...Playboy!

That's right. I have procured a 1971 copy of Playboy's New Host and Bar Book by Thomas Mario. Unlike Julia Child I had no idea who Thomas Mario was before I purchased this encyclopedic cocktail shrine of a book. According to the book jacket Thomas Mario was the food and drink editor of Playboy magazine as well as writing the manual and other food and drink publications. Mario was also incredibly well traveled. Truly a playboy? Don't know. I do however have the utmost regard for Heffner. I also love the class and brass of early Playboy.

Mario starts by naming His first chapter "The Code of Conviviality" According to Webster convivial means : relating to, occupied with, or fond of feasting, drinking, and good company. Hell yes! Any host however knows that this is truly an art! Mario says "Vital to every prearranged drinking session calls for two kinds of alchemy: the first is mixing potables; the second, mixing people." This statement is the foreshadowing for the fabulous insight this book has people, cocktails and hosting good times in style!

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