Sunday Specials—by the book

A brilliant writer friend of mine, a man I’ve spent most of my adult life trying to emulate in almost every way, was once asked how his latest book was coming.

“It’s not a book,” he replied, “until it’s a book.”

By that sensible standard, I can’t say that Sunday Specials is a book. But I’m going to do my best to turn it into one.

And you can help.

I launched this series of more-or-less weekly blog posts back in January 2021 to document our household’s pandemic-lockdown explorations of the cocktail canon: some old drinks, some new ones, a few of my own creation. So far I’ve offered up recipes for about 30 cocktails, along with ample side orders of mixed-drink history and personal anecdote.

I figure a year’s worth of recipes will be enough for me. And Chef Sin has persuaded me that a year’s worth of recipes would also be enough for a great book.

The working title is Sunday Specials: 52+ Classic and Cutting-Edge Cocktails to Cap Off Every Weekend of the Year. Drawing from a wide range of online and printed material (including cocktail guides dating back more than a century) as well as the expertise of mixologists and bartenders from around the world, the book will detail the origins of each drink, offer tasting notes, and provide specific instructions for re-creating these spirited beverages at home—often with my unique spin. And I’m going to insist that the whole thing be beautifully illustrated. (I do my best on the blog, but a real photographer could create some true masterpieces from these cocktails.)

My goal is to have a manuscript completed and ready to market by March 2022. In the meantime, here’s what to expect:

  • I’ll continue to post drink stories and recipes here on
  • To help push this project to completion and persuade publishers that an audience exists for a fun, practical cocktail guide, I’ve created a Patreon membership page where, for as little as $3 per month, you can support my work and be kept updated on my progress.
  • Higher levels of support will get you better perks, including acknowledgement by name in the book and on this blog, and an early look at new chapters before they are posted here.
  • About one in every four new chapters will not be posted on this blog at all; rather, they’ll be shared exclusively with members in the highest membership tier and won’t be available to general readers until the book is published. The first “Highball Members Only” chapter is now posted on Patreon, featuring my own variation on an old cocktail (pictured above)—and a tribute to the memory of a great mountain.

This is a tremendously exciting undertaking, and I’m determined to see it through to the end. As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions along the way.

And I look forward to the day when I can say:

“It’s a book.”

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