Hard Cover. New York: J. A. Grohusko, 1908. First Edition. Near Fine.
First edition. Publisher's green cloth decoratively lettered to front board, text block on coated paper, black and white portrait of the author and facsimile signature to p. [i], 16 pp. of ads following text block, small slip describing measurement terms tipped in to rear pastedown. A very good copy with some wear to extremities, particularly around spine ends, a few faint spots to boards, gilt very slightly dimmed but still clear and bright, front hinge shaken with first signature separating from the text block, fragile but holding. Overall, a beautiful copy of this extremely scarce true first edition. One of the last pre-prohibition era mixology books published in the United States and a classic example of early mixology, Jack's Manual is perhaps most known as the first book to publish a recipe for the "Brooklyn Cocktail." Derivative of the classic Manhattan and following the creation of a newly established Bronx cocktail, the Brooklyn - as Grohusko imagined it - was known for its sweetness, calling for dry vermouth, rye whiskey, maraschino, and Amer Picon, a now-obscure French aperitif. Himself a native of Hoboken, Grohusko published the recipe during his time working as a bartender for the well-known restauranteur Victor Baracca, a Brooklynite. More commonly found as a 1910 printing, true first editions of Jack's Manual (1908) are extremely scarce. Notably, pre-prohibition era cocktail books are of particular importance in the United States. The thirteen-year ban on the sale and consumption alcohol that began in 1920 drastically changed U.S. mixology culture, pushing many well-known bartenders to move their business to Europe, and prompting the rise of bootlegging and speakeasies in the U.S. Although mixology books continued to be published throughout the prohibition era and afterwards, their contents were strongly influenced by the major change in the perception and legality of alcohol use, separating the history of mixology in the U.S. into three very distinct eras defined by the prohibition era.