If memory serves I bought this rare baby in 2012 when I was visiting London to help judge a cocktail competition for Courvoisier cognac. I was approached during the lunch break by a man who told me that he’d just seen a signed copy of the 1933 edition of the Savoy Cocktail book in a nearby antiquarian bookstore. He graciously offered to take me there.
I can’t remember the name of the gent who pointed me in this direction, but I well remember him telling me that his biggest claim to fame was that his wife had been the model they used for Jessica Rabbit in the cartoon movie, Who Framed Roger Rabbit. She must have been quite a babe!
The bookstore in question was owned and run by Natalie Galustian who now works, I believe, for the DHH Literary Agency in London. She and I haggled a little, but we soon agreed on a price, so I handed over my credit card and the deal was done.
Here’s a picture of the page that was signed by the illustrious Harry Craddock. “Here’s How!” was a common phrase heard in the bars of yesteryear, and Craddock often used it in his signature. It’s dated February 22 (or 23?), 1936, three years after this edition was published.
The Savoy Cocktail Book has been described as the Bhagavad Gita of cocktail books by English writer Alice Lascelles, and it contains many great cocktail quotes. Underneath the recipe for the Corpse Reviver (No. 1), for instance, is a note advising the reader that the drink was “To be taken before 11 a.m., or whenever steam and energy are needed” The note under the next recipe for the Corpse Reviver (No 2), however, warns that “Four of these taken in swift succession will unrevive the corpse again.”
Craddock’s best known quote from this book, though, can be found in the foreword under the heading
A FEW HINTS FOR THE YOUNG MIXER
Hint Number 6 instructs
Drink your Cocktail as soon as possible. Harry Craddock was once asked what was the best was to drink a Cocktail.
“Quickly,” replied that great man, while it’s still laughing at you.