Thursday, February 18, 2010

Vintage Thingie Thursday Feb 17, 2010

Today is Vintage Thingie Thursday at The Coloradolady.
When you are done here, head over and see the fun vintage thingies everyone else has to show off and read all about Suzanne's awesome pocket watch experience.

But first I have to tell you about my Vintage Thingie.

I have the most wonderful wife in the world. (No, she is NOT my vintage thingie.)

I will tell her something that would be fun to have, or point out something in a store that I like but that is just not in our budget at the time, and she will smile and remind me how much it costs and how much we have to spend.

Then, as soon as she gets a chance, she scours flea markets, thrift stores, clearance sales and whatever other secret sources she has, to find me one that does fit our budget and she'll surprise me with it.

Before Christmas we were at one of those fancy-schmancy high-dollar book stores, and I saw a bartender gift set. It had all the bar tools and everything along with a bartenders' guide book. It was priced in the $35 range and all boxed up in a fancy box.

Now, I have mentioned before, I grew up in a non-drinking home. As an adult, I didn't know a Tom Collins from a Tom Cruise.

All I knew about cocktails was that they were a type of pickled onion.

And a sauce that you dipped shrimp into.

So I kind of wanted to get an education. I had heard names of drinks in my life. Mint Julep, Sloe Gin Fizz, Boxcar Willie... no wait, he was a singer, it was Boston Side Car that was the drink.

But they were all foreign terms to me, words that I read in books, but had no clue what they were talking about.

So, if I read a book that said:

"She walked into my gin joint, one hip at a time, with a face like a Dixie Julep and a figure like a Singapore Sling".

I vaguely knew that she would be more appealing than if she had a face like a Fish House Sour, or a Hop Toad Flip. But beyond that I really didn't know what they were talking about.

I will never be a heavy drinker. I am actually glad that I never developed the taste for most alcohol. A lot of it reminds me of when we were kids and we had to siphon gas out of the truck to fill up the gas tank on the lawn mower so we could cut the grass. And Diann, luckily isn't a real drinker either.

This is good, because when we go out to eat with couples we know who like to drink, it always amazes me that they spend twice as much on drinks alone, than we spend for our food.

But from time to time, I like to taste new things, try new things, experiment, investigate. I have an inquiring mind, and inquiring minds want to know.

That's where my incredible wife comes in.

For Valentine's Day, she got me the Old Mr. Boston DeLuxe Official Bartender's Guide.

Originally written in 1935, the book has had multiple printings and a few revisions. Most recently, it was revised in 1960 to include color pictures. My copy is from the 1961 printing.

I love old books. The way they feel in your hand. The way they set type back before everything was typeset with a computer. The way the edges of the pages aren't always precisely lined up.

But most of all, I like it when I read an old cookbook, or reference book and find pages that have extra fingerprints or dogears on them. Then I know that those are the "good pages".

I am always suspicious when I see a cookbook that is 50 years old and is in brand new condition. I can't help but wonder how good those recipes are if they went 50 years with nobody making them.

This book has it's fair share of fingerprints, on some of the popular pages, and on the pages that talk about bar measurements. It is comforting knowing that the book was used and usefull to a prior owner.
The end sheet inside the front cover has a color illustration of different drinks.

Then, inside the back cover is the same picture in red tone with the different glasses highlighted so a novice like me knows the difference between a Highball glass, an Old Fashioned glass, a Goblet and a Pony.

It was easier to take the pictures with a little help from the The Little Princess, and she has much cuter fingers than I do.

Of course, the book wasn't complete without the bar tools and a shaker, so she got me a set of bar tools. They aren't vintage, but they should do the trick until I can learn how to use them, and if I know Diann, she is keeping her eye open for a vintage set, to match the book.

The shaker has the recipes for several popular cocktails around the outside. You just dial up the drink, and the ingredients appear in the little slots on the side.

Diann wanted me to point out that she let me use her vintage hand embroidered napkin with handmade lace as a backdrop for my pictures. She just got them this week at a thrift store, and I expect them to appear on her blog soon.

~{@ @}~ ~{@ @}~ ~{@ @}~ ~{@ @}~

Be sure and join me each Tuesday for Tuesday Trivia Tie-in, where readers are invited to share trivia and show off their treasures.

Read all about it here

I apologize in advance to any anonymous posters. Because of the large amount of SPAM I was getting, I had to block anonymous comments.



  1. Troy, you just delight me. Hey, we have an old 50's bar you could put all those treasures in. You lift the two top pieces simultaneously and the bar pops up from inside. Very cool stuff. Thanks for visiting my Watery Wednesday - please keep on coming over.

  2. You do have the best wife! It's a wonderful gift she got you. My significant other collects barware yet doesn't drink at all.

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Old Mr. Boston DeLuxe Official Bartender's Guide, what a lovely gift! You are a lucky man to have such an amazing wife! Cherish her.

  4. I like the way your wife operates! I truly enjoyed reading this, Troy. What a great book she found for you. Never had a cocktail shaker myself, but that is so cool--and dial-a-drink instructions on the outside no less!

  5. Pretty darned cool! Old books are the best books! I got a cool old recipe book at a junk shop for $1 and it even explains the use of various salts and yeasts - why to use them, when to use them - an amazing book of cooking knowledge that most recipe books nowadays always omit! You certainly got a fun gift!

  6. What a great gift!! I am a non-drinker but would love to have such a book.


  7. What a clever gift giver your wife is! I love the idea of the dial up mixer, how cool! Have fun with it and be sure to let us know when the first cocktail party is!

  8. I'll have a TomCruise...he was quite a 'Cocktail Shaker' in the movie COCKTAIL. There's a bit of BoozeTrivia for ya from a former Cocktail Waitress. Yep, I didn't know anything about fancy drinks til that summer job. Now, I'm a MargaritaGal...occasionally! I think that Book is definately a BarKeeper! Fun post and 'WhataWife'!

  9. What a wonderful gift..and you have such an amazing wife. You're so lucky to have each other.
    Happy VTT..have a wonderful weekend.

  10. I think cocktails are fascinating, but I don't like to drink them.

  11. Hi Troy,

    Happy VTT! Oh, what a sweet wife you have. Hubby and I are thrifty too. Fun post!


  12. I think this book will be even better than a new one-the 1930s to 1960 was the heyday of mixed cocktails! Have fun!

  13. Troy what a cool gift! I inherited my parents mid-century bar with all the glasses and tools. It is really cool. I will have to do a post about it one day. I had a Mr Boston bar book years ago but don't now. I do have a book about vintage drinks but it's not the same. You will have fun with this and yes I agree. Diann is keeping an eye out for some vintage bar tools!

    Linda @ A La Carte

  14. Troy, what a adorable post, and what an amazing gift. I am not sure my husband would have liked a gift like that, but I can sure tell you I would wonderful! Great post, I really enjoyed it, and I agree...a vintage cookbook that has been well used is a good sign the food will be good! Have a great VTT!

  15. Such creativity in your post! Great job. Love the shaker and the bartenders' guide. Thanks for sharing!