A Proper Drink gives a chapter by chapter history of the craft cocktail Each chapter focuses on either a different type of cocktail or different time period. The book also includes 40 recipes of both modern and classic cocktails as well as a possible explanation of why we call cocktails, cocktails. It may have something to do with ginger and horse's bum.
Just like that interesting tidbit, I found the histories to be equally interesting. Simonson takes you through the "growth" process of what he calls the cocktail revolution. He really follows the shifts in the bar scene and food industry (at least as it relates to the bar scene). Who knew that the restaurant chain, TGIF, used to have a rigorous bartender training program? I'd imagine that now most of their drinks are "tarted up" versions of their originals, , to steal a descriptor from Simonson.
While I found the content intriguing, I found Simonson's writing stlye a bit choppy and sometimes hard to follow. I could see someone explaining that away as a literary device mimicking the history of the revolution, but I don't buy in. I also think the book would have benefitted from a few pages of pictures, of the bars and of the drinks featured in the recipes.
Overall, I think this book would make a great gift for a lover of history, cocktails or both,