Maybe unsurprisingly, the Platinum Edition of this post-Prohibition “cocktail bible” has less historic charm than the 1935 original. In place of the warm leather and gold of the first edition, platinum Boston is a simple binder done up in black and silver, with only a dime-sized visage of marketing fabrication “Mr. Boston” (the “everlastingly young” Betty Crocker of cocktails) peering out from its glossy cover. But that’s apt, because even in its first printing, Mr. Boston wasn’t for collectors, but producers (history hoarders can, however, salvage first editions from the eBay jungle).
A self-described “authentic and accurate” solution to the “avalanche of cocktail books” that descended upon bartenders post-Repeal, Mr. Boston was, and remains, soberly professional, gathering tools, techniques, and hundreds of recipes for quick and easy reference. But unlike previous incarnations, the Platinum Edition discards all pre-fabricated mixers and reorganizes itself for the “current cocktail renaissance” according to scrupulously reevaluated recipes. The results span the gamut from the purist’s classic Daiquiri to the frozen improbability of a Creamy Gin Sour. And with contributions from cocktail disciples like Tony Abou Ganim, Misty Kalkofen, Jim Meehan, Phil Ward, Audrey Saunders, Gary Regan, Scott Beattie, Toby Maloney, Dale DeGroff, and more, the re-jiggered Mr. Boston is like a New Old Testament for the spirit(s)ually inclined.