“A very entertaining book that deserves a leather armchair, a fine cigar, and a double measure of cognac. ” – Gaz Regan, author of The Joy of Mixology
An engrossing romp through the social, political, and scientific history of alcohol and art of cultured intoxication.
The School of Sophisticated Drinking traces the deep-seated lineage of drinking in the social, political, and even scientific developments of our culture. Inspired by an ongoing series of lectures at Berlin’s legendary cocktail den, the Victoria Bar, each chapter delves into the sociopolitical significance of and technological innovations behind a familiar wine or spirit—brandy, vodka, whisky, rum, gin, tequila, and champagne—and shares plenty of tales of adventure, from the glamour of Hollywood and Broadway to the tormented worlds of well-known writers, to the outbreak of wars and the unending struggle for economic and military power. Whether you’re an expert drinker or a novice barfly, it’ll give you plenty to contemplate inside your glass.
About the authors
Kerstin Ehmer is a cofounder the Victoria Bar in Berlin and part of the team that began the legendary lecture series there known as The School of Sophisticated Drinking. A former photojournalist and writer, Ehmer now curates an annual exhibition at the Victoria Bar, manages its art collection, and handles public relations.
Beate Hindermann is a cofounder the Victoria Bar in Berlin and part of the team that began the legendary lecture series there known as The School of Sophisticated Drinking. Hindermann has distinguished herself in the bartending world, not only at the Victoria Bar but also writing for Mixology, jurying cocktail competitions, and as an explorer of worldwide bar and alcohol cultures.
Kevin Brauch is a celebrity bartender, host of The Thirsty Traveler and floor reporter on Iron Chef America.
"For years, American bartenders looked to the Germans for inspiration. My only wish is that this wonderful tome of knowledge had been available ten years ago!" —Jeffrey Morgenthaler, author of The Bar Book: Elements of Cocktail Technique
"A wet feast for imbibers with a sense of the past." —Booklist
"It’s seldom we get a chance to see the European viewpoint on the history of booze, and I can’t think of a more delightful way of discovering how the industry looks from the other side of the Atlantic than by reading The School of Sophisticated Drinking. It’s a very entertaining book that deserves a leather armchair, a fine cigar, and a double measure of cognac." —gaz regan, www.gazregan.com, author of The Joy of Mixology
"The award-winning team at Berlin’s Victoria Bar tells the story in lively episodes of how popular spirits changed the course of the world." —Brigitte
"This book should be a prerequisite for those looking to enrol in the school of drunkenness. It’ll supply you with cocktail party chatter, genuine insight into drinking culture and, best of all, recipes." —Christine Sismondo
"Too stimulating to read sober, but historically too extravagant to read after three drinks and still understand." —KulturSPIEGEL
"Kerstin Ehmer and Beate Hindermann have penned a detailed and insightful look into the development and sometimes comical past of the world of cocktail recipes and their stories." —Frankie Solarik, co-owner, Barchef Toronto and author of The Bar Chef
"The almost drunken passion, but also the sober precision, with which they treat their topic…captivating and stimulating as a good cocktail." —Mixology
"The School of Sophisticated Drinking is just as much of a must-read book for the seriously cocktail-minded as it is for the professional bartender. Erudite, hedonistic and charming in the extreme, I can give this publication no greated compliment than to say it is The Victoria Bar in book form." —Philip Duff, award-winning spirits educator and Director of Education for Tales of the Cocktail
"Whether you are a bona fide or burgeoning bartender, The School of Sophisticated Drinking: An Intoxicating History of Seven Spirits by Kerstin Ehmer and Beate Hindermann is a necessary verbal bar crawl." —Jules Torti for The Vancouver Sun