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The Joy of Mixology by Gary Regan

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The Joy of Mixology by Gary Regan

The Joy of Mixology by Gary Regan

The Bottom Line

From The History of the Cocktail to The Theory of Mixology and The Craft of the Mixologist, straight through to the 350 plus classic cocktail recipes, The Joy of Mixology: The Consummate Guide to the Bartender's Craft is an informative study of the craft of the "Cocktailian Bartender" according to Gary Regan. As one of the best known authorities on the subject, Regan takes us on a trip through the history, theory and techniques behind the stick and does so in an enlightening way that will captivate anyone interested in the subject of mixing fine drinks.
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  • Comprehensive history of cocktails, mixology and bartending.
  • Basic and advanced bartending and mixology advice for amateurs and pros.
  • Over 350 classic cocktail recipes complete with their histories.
  • Invaluable advice for working bartenders about doing the job right.


  • It's hard to put down the book and take in all the information in one read through.


  • Written by Gary Regan, renowned author and mixologist.
  • 369 pages, hardcover, including over 350 cocktail recipes and spirit glossary
  • Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, New York, 2003
  • Retails for around $30

Guide Review - The Joy of Mixology by Gary Regan

The Joy of Mixology is more than a bartending guide filled with recipes and it is more than a cocktail history book, it is a study of the art of mixology as a whole. In this respect, the book is filled with everything the amateur, aspiring and old pro bartender should know, understand and practice. The chapter on history is fascinating and the study of it will not only lead to an understanding of the drinking past, but give the bartender fascinating trivia to throw out when a conversation needs a jump start. But the historical reference is not limited to that single chapter, as Regan enlightens us to the history of almost every cocktail and mixed drink listed in The Recipes. And, as time goes on it is accounts and records like this that will keep those stories (however disputed and numerous they may be) alive for the next 200 years.

If you are one of those who wants to know exactly what a bartender's role is, then Regan's chapter The Bartender: Do You Have What It Takes? will answer all of your questions. Using his own extensive experience, Regan expels the very fine points of becoming an efficient, responsible and likable bartender. Take his advice on dealing with bar owners, wait staff, drunk customers and how to keep an efficiently running bar. Put that advice to work and you'll find success no matter what type of establishment you work in.

To get a feel for Regan's writing it is appropriate to take a look at his discussion "When is a Martini Not a Martini." In this passage the author resigns to the Martini question by saying, "It's useless to argue this point, and a whole generation, if not two, now uses the term Martini when referring to drinks that, in the past, would have been dubbed cocktails. Can anyone change that habit? I think not."

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