1933 – Hollywood Cocktails

Submitted by Nessa December 1st, 2010
Certifikitsch Winner

I picked up this recipe book a few years ago at an estate sale. It is a real piece of history! Great graphics and great recipes and a perfect picture of a totally different and more glamorous age. Some parts of it are just too funny. And of course I was ecstatic to find it, due to my love of old movies and art deco and all that good stuff.

“Hollywood’s Favorite Cocktail Book – including the favorite cocktail served at each of the smartest stars’ rendezvous. (Whenever it becomes legal to serve.) Food and Wine Combinations. Buzza-Cardozo of Hollywood.”

Copyright: 1st Printing, Nov 29, 1933, 2nd Printing, Dec. 9, 1933, 3rd Printing, Dec 20, 1933.

I think the “Whenever it becomes legal to serve.” part is kind of nifty.

Cool graphics! The former owner pasted a few extra recipes in the front of the book with stylin’ red tape.

Allow me to show you a few more of the nice drawings.

Very cool simplicity.. so few lines but you totally get the feeling of the era.

A number of the cocktails are named after celebrities of the day. Here you can see the “Garbo Gargle” and the “Ginger Rogers,” but there’s also The Douglas Fairbanks, The Elissa Landi, the Jack Depsey, the Jean Harlow, the Johnny Weismuller, The Lindbergh, The Lupe Velez, the Mae West, The Marlene Dietrich, The Mary Pickford, The Max Baer, The Roscoe Turner, The President Roosevelt, The “Schnozzle Durante”, The Sylvia Dee, The Van Gorder, and The Will Rogers.

I can only assume if you were famous enough to have a cocktail named after you , then you were really doing good for yourself.

Forgive me for going on and on, but I have to tell you some other funny cocktail names:

The Atta Boy, The Blood & Sand, The Between The Sheets Cocktail, The Broken Spur, The Bosom Caresser, The Corpse Reviver, The Damn-The-Weather, The Extra Girl, The Loud Speaker, The Maiden’s Prayer, The Monkey Gland, The Poop-Poop-A-Doop, The Prairie Oyster, Satan’s Whiskers, Sudden Death, The Welcome Stranger, and the XYZ.

Additionally there are signature cocktails from famous Hollywood hangouts like The Brown Derby, The Embassy Club and The Hi Ho, among others.

Here’s part of the wine guide. Also a lot of the cocktails have strange ingredients that aren’t often seen these days, such as absinthe and raw eggs… .. and some stuff I’ve never heard of.

Probably the best part is this “The Morning After” hangover cure page, printed upside down and crooked on the last page of the book.. 4 of the 6 “cures” involve still more alcohol, and #3 is “Hot Clam Broth,” which I can not even imagine trying to down when hungover, yuck! Note the last cure, tomato juice, is “only if others are not available.”

I hope you enjoyed this little waltz through classic Hollywood. I can upload a few more pictures from this later, if you enjoyed it. Oh, and I haven’t tried ANY of these cocktails.. alcohol is so expensive!! But it’s on my “to-do” list. A Schnozzle Durante, anyone?

17 Responses to “1933 – Hollywood Cocktails”

  1. Allee Willis

    Absolutely gorgeous cover! This book is of the same vintage as my house, which was built as the party house for MGM a few years later in 1937. I can only hope that there was a copy of this once lying around here.

    I’m beyond plotzing that it includes favorite cocktails served at “each of the star’s smartest rendezvous”.

    The Deco illustrations are fantastic. I love how they’re done with so few lines, totally evocative of the era.

    I also always love when a cook or, in this case, bartender gets so excited about recipes that they paste a few extra in wherever they can find space. The thin red tape looks like the kind of tape that used to be used in recording studios and signified a certain kind of edit when you looked at the tape.

    The Coconut Grove was one of my favorite places on earth, though I only got to go there in the Ambassador Hotel here in LA after it was long closed. But at least I got to go into the room. So I get very excited when cocktails are grouped under the heading Cocoanut Grove – with the extra a.

    The cocktails named after the stars are absolutely killing me. One of my earliest songs, written in 1972, was about Lupe Velez.

    As usual, an absolutely excellent post from you with superb documentation.

  2. windupkitty

    Oh man this is just incredible! i’m so glad this book is in such good hands!
    store this baby with plenty of desiccants in acid free paper/boxes!!!!

    wow, i’m freaking out.this is really so fabulous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. k2dtw

    OMGOMG…I’m dying, I love this so much…It is FABULOUS!!…
    Nessa this is so period perfect.. I love everything, the California/Hollywood Art Deco details are wonderful.
    The “Whenever it becomes legal to serve” is so cool and so timely, prohibition ended Dec 5, 1933.
    Hope you find a cocktail recipe that you like, and have a toast on Dec 5 to your beautiful cocktail book…smile..
    At one time there were Dec 5 Prohibition Parties all over…I hope they’re still going on.
    The dates for Prohibition ran Jan 16, 1920 – Dec 5, 1933

        • windupkitty

          the book covers the social, political, cultural, religious, etc history of the “rise and fall” of prohibition…i had never really read anything about prohibition and it was really fascinating! To me, it was particularly interesting to read about the women who supported, if not were key in, making it happen….according to the sticker on the front of the book, there is supposed to be a pbs special in the works….something to watch out for….i got fromt he library so it’s easy to get ahold of….

          • Allee Willis

            I’m pretty sure you’ve seen the music video I made with the 91-year-old female drummer on an oxygen tank, Jerrie Thill. She was discovered by one of Al Capone boys at 12 because she accompanied her parents on liquor runs they did for them from Iowa to Chicago. So I’ve heard lots of incredible stories about prohibition. (If you haven’t seen the video go here immediately: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYZkFOZoP-o )

      • stevelivigni


        Great post on this cocktail book. I run a couple of cocktail bars in Los Angeles, CA. One of my business partners has been trying to find this book for a long time. Do you have any interest in selling it? If so let me know. [email protected].



  4. MyFunCloset

    Now this is a real treasure. The best stuff can be found at estate sales… especially when the family has lived in the same home for 80 years. You have a great eye to snap this up. Are you there when the doors open or was this overlooked and you rescued it late in the sale?

    • Nessa

      The lady who runs estate sales in my neck of the woods knows me well, haha. I’m there Saturday morning when it opens, but often stuff is too expensive that day, with the occasional deal. The next day, everything goes to 50% off, and then in the afternoon, 75% off!! So if there’s anything I wanted before but thought it was too pricey, sometimes it’ll still be there and I can grab it. I think I got this at 50% off, but it’s been a while so I can’t really remember.