A literary guide to classic mixed drinks, riffing on their place in culture, art, film, and literature. Instructions included.
For over a decade Mark Kingwell has been one of Canada’s wisest and wittiest commentators on everything from political philosophy to The Simpsons. When he turns his lively mind to the gentlemanly subject of cocktails, he not only mixes the perfect drink, but also tells us where it fits into a wider literary and social world. Loosened perhaps by a few samples of his recipes, it’s a joy to follow this elegant writer wherever he may lead us through the spirit world. Kingwell introduces us to all the Collins siblings: Tom, whom we may already know, John, Pedro, Ivan, Mike, Jack, and even Brandy — all the while regaling us with snippets from Raymond Chandler, Walt Whitman, All About Eve, and Casablanca. It’s like sitting in the city’s swankiest bar with your most erudite friend and your favourite drink.
Add a dash of original art by famed Canadian illustrator Seth and a classic is born.
Philosopher and critic Mark Kingwell is the author of nine previous books, including the national bestsellers Better Living (1998) and The World We Want (2000). Currently a professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto, his scholarly work has appeared in many leading journals, including the Journal of Philosophy, Political Theory, and the Harvard Design Magazine. He is also a contributing editor of Harper’s Magazine and a regular contributor to Adbusters, the National Post, and the Globe and Mail. He has won many awards for his writing, including the National Magazine Award for both essays (2002) and columns (2004). Classic Cocktails is based on his award-winning cocktail column, which appears in the men’s magazine Toro.
Seth was born in 1962 in a rural Ontario town. Seth lives in Guelph, Ontario, with five cats, a gigantic collection of vintage records, comic books, and twentieth-century Canadiana, and his very patient wife. He regularly contributes illustrations to The New Yorker and the National Post. Seth’s comic-book series, Palookaville, has been collected into It’s a Good Life, If You Don’t Weaken and Clyde Fans. He is the designer of the bestselling The Complete Peanuts.
“Perhaps our best example of an engaged civic intellectual.”
— John Bentley Mays, Globe and Mail
“Mark Kingwell is a beautiful writer, a lucid thinker, and a patient teacher.”
— Naomi Klein
“Mark Kingwell proves a delightful companion down the ethical byways of contemporary life, with proper attention to ancient precedents and modern temptations.”
— Todd Gitlin
“A deep thinker and fine writer.”
— National Post