it's here . . .



You walk into a saloon, belly up to the bar, and ask for a Dry Gin Martini, straight-up, no garnish, water on the side, no ice.  The bartender asks if you want a particular brand of gin.  You make your choice.  You give it to her straight.  “Brimelow’s Gin, please.  The high-proof bottling if you have it, or . . .”


“Oh, we have the high-proof Brimelow’s alright,” the bartender tells you.  “Good gin, too.  Been a best seller since it hit the shelves back in 2003.  Not that far back in gin terms, but the Brimelow family’s been in the gin biz since 1794, you know.  Arthur Brimelow started the company.  Bastard to work for, they say . . .”


You take a barstool, you sip your ice-cold elixir, you observe your problems being cleansed from your very soul, you watch as your focus sharpens, and the bartender, who has been waiting for this exact moment, says, “They added sage to the original recipe to make this bottling.  That’s where you’re getting that sense of peace.  It’s the sage.”  Or maybe that’s not what she says at all.  Maybe she tells you that the gin you chose is the only gin in the world that’s made in an Austrian hybrid still, and that each botanical is distilled separately.  Or perhaps the bartender will tell you all about the origins of gin.  About Dutch Courage.  About Gin Lane.  About Dr. Sylvius, the seventeenth-century Dutch professor who created the world’s first gin.  Or did he?


Some bartenders might quote from Casablanca when you order your Dry Gin Martini: “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world . . .”  Other bartenders might recite the old Ogden Nash poem, instead:  “There’s something about a Martini . . .”  and every now and then you’ll meet a bartender who tries to get you to switch your brand of gin.  “If you usually drink Brimelow’s Gin, I’m going to suggest you try this new one, Hopewell’s Gin.  It’s not quite the same, but it it’s sort of in the same family if you know what I mean . . . lots of my regulars are switching to it.”


There are bartenders in this world, and God bless each and every one of them, who won’t just try to get you to switch gins, they’ll try to change the whole damned cocktail.  “How about trying a Martinez instead of a Martini?  Different drink, that’s for sure, but she’s sort of the Martini’s mother.  You might want to take her around the dance- floor once or twice.  She’s got a mean pair of gams.”  And the same bartenders, you can bet your bottom dollar, will eventually turn you on to Aviation cocktails.  And you’ll be oh so glad you found the Aviation.


While some bartenders will teach you about classic gin cocktails, others might introduce you to brand spanking new twenty-first-century drinks.  If you’re lucky enough to be seated across from Jonny Raglin who, at the time of writing, holds forth from behind the stick at Absinthe in San Francisco, you might be able to persuade him to fix you a Bengali Gimlet, providing he made up some of his incredible Curried Nectar before showing up for his shift, of course.  Audrey Saunders, Queen of New York’s Pegu Club, could suggest that you try an Earl Grey MarTEAni, one of her most fabulous gin-based potions—and Audrey has given birth to lots of fabulous new gin drinks.


This book, then, is hopefully for all the bartenders we just met, and it’s for their customers, too.  And it’s for amateur mixologists, and it’s for the pros.  It’s for gin tipplers, gin connoisseurs, gin lushes, gin swiggers, gin aficionados, and this book’s for people who don’t like gin, too.  I’m in the mood to change some minds out there.


The Bartender’s Gin Compendium, with a bit of luck, attacks gin from all angles.  I’m hoping that this will be the book you reach for if there’s anything at all you need to know about gin.  I’ve detailed how it’s made, where the flavors come from, and you’ll find chapter on the history of gin and gin-based drinks here, too.  There are recipes here, new and old, from all over this wonderful world of ours, many of them complete with words of wisdom from today’s very best cocktailian bartenders, and there are all sorts of historical quotations, poems, and trivia here, too.  And if you need to find details on all of the best gins on the market, this is the book to look at.


wanna buy this darned thing and help gaz out with the rent?


Trade Paperback: $23.99 (around 6.5 cents per page)  Hard Cover: $30.99 (under 8.5 cents per page)


(Yes, we included the index in the "price-per-page" thing.  It's 354 pages long, sans index)


cliquez ici


Discounts for bulk orders (Trade Paperback only, 25-copy minimum) write to


gaz regan—the bartender formerly known as Gary Regan—is the cocktail columnist for The San Francisco Chronicle, and the author of The Joy of Mixology. He also wrote The Bartender’s Bible, and co-authored, with Mardee Haidin Regan, The Book of Bourbon and Other Fine American Whiskeys, The Bourbon Companion, The Martini Companion, and New Classic Cocktails.


gaz and Mardee host the web site, publish the ardent spirits email newsletter (since 1999), and manage the Worldwide Bartender Database. gaz started working behind the bar in 1966 when he was 14 years old, has tended bar on and off ever since, and he has sucked back more gin than you’d ever dream possible. Even more than Dave Wondrich.

“Reading this highly informative and raffishly charming book is almost as fun as sharing a drink—and make mine a Doc Daneeka Royale, or maybe an 1820, or a Leo Di Janeiro, or, hell, you choose—with the highly informative and raffishly charming Mr. Regan himself (but please don’t tell him I said so; it’ll only encourage him).”

—David Wondrich
Author of Imbibe,
and numerous other fine works of cocktailian splendour.