All my restaurant-groupie friends are eagerly awaiting the September release of Service Included: Four-Star Secrets of an Eavesdropping Waiter, the ridiculously compelling book written by ex-waitress Phoebe Damrosch (who I met last night—she's adorable) about what it's like to work at Manhattan's Per Se and serve a meal to New York Times critic Frank Bruni. But all the drink lovers I know are dying to get their hands on a copy of Imbibe!, the excellent book by mixographer David Wondrich that chronicles the life and legacy of Jerry Thomas, the pioneer of the American bar. The book isn't due out until November but guess what, I got an advance copy. It was immediately stolen by Jim Meehan, who, as I mention in every other blog entry, is the superstar deputy editor of Food & Wine Cocktails. He still hasn't given it back, but in the next few weeks, I'll run Jim's comprehensive review of the book, in which chapters have headings like: "How to Mix Drinks, or What Would Jerry Thomas Do"; "The Children of Punch"; and "Channeling the Professor—New Drinks from Sixteen of the Top Mixologists of our Time."
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