Cheers to this bevy of spirited recipes brimming with history, which will keep cocktail fans cheerfully buzzed all year long.

365 Happy Hours


A creative recipe collection featuring 365 days’ worth of history-themed cocktails.

Emmy Award–winning TV writer and producer Whitacre’s enthusiasm for cocktails is infectious as she encourages liquor store owners, armchair bartenders and house party hosts everywhere to “be inventive and imaginative and do it with enthusiasm and style.” Her volume’s bright, pastel-colored pages and sharp design inspire readers to dive right in and behold hundreds of cocktail recipes, from the whimsical and classically uncomplicated to the decadent and sophisticated—each inspired by a significant day in history. Encompassing sports, entertainment, food, music and business, many of these historical factoids are firsts: The first Rose Bowl, in 1902, inspires the book’s New Year’s Day drink, the “Rose Cocktail”; the first circus, in 1884 (“The Pink Elephant”); and the first drinking straw patent was granted in 1888, commemorated here by the “Sip & Go Naked,” a stiff combination of gin, lemonade, beer and water for two. Similarly, the “San Francisco Cocktail” combines sloe gin and two types of vermouth, memorializing the groundbreaking of the Golden Gate Bridge in 1933. Next to specialty drinks such as the “International Stinger” (combine amber-blended Metaxa and sweet Galliano) and decadent Christmas- and Honolulu-themed punches are more conventional recipes for cocktails—banana daiquiris (for the debut Tarzan comic strip in 1929), whiskey and beer boilermakers, and the simple “Mona Lisa,” which combines just two ingredients: vodka and lemon soda. Iconic performers make their marks with signature libations, as with Little Richard’s “Fru Fru,” George Burns’ “Smoky Martini,” Elvis Presley’s bourbon and chocolate-milk infused “Velvet Presley,” and John Wayne’s Cointreau sipper, “The Duke.” Major and minor holidays are duly commemorated with jubilant fanfare: Cherry Heering liqueur and peach schnapps brighten a Valentine’s Day glass full of “Cupid’s Cocktail,” and Halloween inspires a potent brew of tequila, crème de cassis and ginger ale in the “Diablo.” Recipes incorporating uncooked egg yolks or whites—as in the “Corn Popper Highball,” which serves 10—seem tailor-made for risky drinkers only. Readers need not be mixologists or booze connoisseurs; all that’s necessary is an aspirant interest in spirits, a well-stocked liquor cabinet, a shaker and a curiosity for world history.

Cheers to this bevy of spirited recipes brimming with history, which will keep cocktail fans cheerfully buzzed all year long.

Pub Date: Dec. 16, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4927-4744-4

Page Count: 206

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: March 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2014

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Possibly inspired by the letters Cleary has received as a children's author, this begins with second-grader Leigh Botts' misspelled fan letter to Mr. Henshaw, whose fictitious book itself derives from the old take-off title Forty Ways W. Amuse a Dog. Soon Leigh is in sixth grade and bombarding his still-favorite author with a list of questions to be answered and returned by "next Friday," the day his author report is due. Leigh is disgruntled when Mr. Henshaw's answer comes late, and accompanied by a set of questions for Leigh to answer. He threatens not to, but as "Mom keeps nagging me about your dumb old questions" he finally gets the job done—and through his answers Mr. Henshaw and readers learn that Leigh considers himself "the mediumest boy in school," that his parents have split up, and that he dreams of his truck-driver dad driving him to school "hauling a forty-foot reefer, which would make his outfit add up to eighteen wheels altogether. . . . I guess I wouldn't seem so medium then." Soon Mr. Henshaw recommends keeping a diary (at least partly to get Leigh off his own back) and so the real letters to Mr. Henshaw taper off, with "pretend," unmailed letters (the diary) taking over. . . until Leigh can write "I don't have to pretend to write to Mr. Henshaw anymore. I have learned to say what I think on a piece of paper." Meanwhile Mr. Henshaw offers writing tips, and Leigh, struggling with a story for a school contest, concludes "I think you're right. Maybe I am not ready to write a story." Instead he writes a "true story" about a truck haul with his father in Leigh's real past, and this wins praise from "a real live author" Leigh meets through the school program. Mr. Henshaw has also advised that "a character in a story should solve a problem or change in some way," a standard juvenile-fiction dictum which Cleary herself applies modestly by having Leigh solve his disappearing lunch problem with a burglar-alarmed lunch box—and, more seriously, come to recognize and accept that his father can't be counted on. All of this, in Leigh's simple words, is capably and unobtrusively structured as well as valid and realistic. From the writing tips to the divorced-kid blues, however, it tends to substitute prevailing wisdom for the little jolts of recognition that made the Ramona books so rewarding.

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 1983

ISBN: 143511096X

Page Count: 133

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1983

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