DrinkWire is Liquor.com's showcase for the best articles, recipe and reviews from the web's top writers and bloggers. In this post, Alcohol Professor offers opinions on Esquire's new cocktail guide.


There’s no room for “locker room talk“, bullying, name calling or judging of others based on their drink choices. And no incoherent babbling. That’s for amateurs, not—according to the words of drinks historian and longtime spirits columnist David Wondrich—how one drinks like a man.

A man worth his salt (and a woman worth hers) drinks. Not aggressively.But rather in a way that is ‘part of our lives, both work and social, and, to us, it seems as if drinking improves both parts.

Those parts are improved when one pairs the situation with whatever suits it best, or is at hand; from a dry Martini to whiskey neat, a good IPA or the Tecate dressed. This is how a man drinks and this book shows you the way.

Subtitled “The Only Cocktail Guide Anyone Really Needs” the bright red volume lives up to its promise.A compilation of Esquire Magazine drinks columns from back as far as the 1930s, each chapter guides novice drinkers and spirits aficionados succinctly through the basics of bar tools, essential techniques (and some neat tricks known officially as “A Few Seemingly Fussy Things That Are Actually Worth It”), as well as seven essential cocktail formulas (a.k.a. building blocks for constructing every kind of drink).

There’s advice to a young drinker, a chapter about recognizing the stages of drinking (wise men know to stop at three, brazen hedonists head on to four for memorable, or un-remembered evenings) – whether you go for one, two, three, four or more. What this book doesn’t do is judge.


What it does do is convey a veneer of sophistication over readers as they flip through recipes that stretch back to centuries past and absorb articles from Esquire. This book successfully achieves its goals of illuminating the joys of drinking, uncovering the history of spirits and the lore behind cocktails, and highlights the mores of society gathering around a glass and with small bites in front of a bar since just after the Roaring 20s.

While some of these drinks, the bar snacks (and even the title) may sound more old fashioned than the Old Fashioned, every one of these drinks can stand the test of time and has its rightful place whether you’re Today’s Man or a Thoroughly Modern Millie looking for an aperitif or a punch that’ll fill up a crowd and bowl them over.

Drink Like a Man is out now from Chronicle Books, $22.95.