Esquire’s Handbook for Hosts

This book review appeared in the May issue of Australian Bartender magazine.

Illustrated by L. J. Allen

This wee vintage find from 1949 is treasure trove of good old fashioned chauvinism, strong drink, and tips on how to run a successful party. There are recipes for bouillabaisse, instructions on how to carve, receipts for making Chatham Artillery Punch, rules for various card games, tips on dressing and even an etiquette refresher.


The entire work is charmingly illustrated and contains more than a few full page cartoons. As far as the drink recipes go many are booze heavy, vermouth heavy or simply unbalanced, but amongst all the chaff there are a few gems. Mostly you’ll want this book for its charm and the vignette it opens into 1940s and ’50s life. Reproductions can be cheaply purchased online and even the odd original work still pops up.

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