Book Of the Week: Meehan's Bartender Manual

by Greg Larsen

Step into the world of cocktails and you'll inevitably encounter the name Jim Meehan—a luminary whose expertise and creativity have left an indelible mark on the art of mixology. With a career spanning over twenty years, Meehan has consistently pushed the boundaries of cocktail culture, earning accolades and admiration along the way. From his pioneering work at New York City's iconic speakeasy PDT to his authoritative tome "The PDT Cocktail Book," Meehan has cemented his reputation as both a master bartender and a visionary within the industry. Join me as we delve into the captivating journey of Jim Meehan, exploring his innovations, insights, and enduring influence on the world of spirits and libations.


My memory is fuzzy on the exact timing and date/year, but I had the pleasure of meeting Jim at PDT thanks to one of my brother's best buds, Jim's brother-in-law. The three of us, my brother, and his buddy Zack, sat at the end of the bar, chopping it up with Jim as he played around with the seltzer for the vodka and seltzer. He spent about twenty minutes doing a bunch of prep work and was kind enough to explain the bar's background, the concept, etc. Then he placed three rounds of drinks in front of us, each with different amounts of seltzer in the vodka seltzer. We tasted each drink, talked about the drink, then moved on to the next. When we finished all three drinks, the four of us voted on what was our favorite, which became the updated vodka seltzer for PDT. While the process was straightforward, the effort and attention to detail impressed me. From the ice to the glass to the CO2 cartridge to make the seltzer, what a night. With that attention to detail, we are thrilled to present Jim's new book, Meehan's Bartender Manual.



Meehan’s Bartender Manual is acclaimed mixologist Jim Meehan’s magnum opus—and the first book of the modern era to explain the bar industry from the inside out. With chapters that mix cocktail history with professional insights from experts all over the world, this deep dive covers it all: bar design, menu development, spirits production, drink mixing technique, the craft of service and art of hospitality, and more.
The book also includes recipes for 100 cocktails culled from the classic canon and Meehan’s own storied career. Each recipe reveals why Meehan makes these drinks the way he does, offering unprecedented access to a top bartender’s creative process.
Whether you’re a professional looking to take your career to the next level or an enthusiastic amateur interested in understanding the how and why of mixology, Meehan’s Bartender Manual 
is the definitive guide.


"Jim Meehan was among the pioneers of the craft cocktail movement, opening PDT in Manhattan in 2007. “Meehan’s Bartender Manual” is exactly what the title promises: a manual for professional bartenders. But it will make a welcome addition to the library of any serious at-home drink maker."

—Wayne Curtis, The Wall Street Journal


About the Author

Jim Meehan is a renowned figure in the world of bartending, celebrated for his innovation, expertise, and dedication to the craft of mixology. With over two decades of experience behind the bar, Meehan has established himself as a leader in the industry, pushing boundaries and shaping trends. He gained prominence as the head bartender at the renowned New York City speakeasy PDT (Please Don't Tell), where his inventive cocktails and meticulous attention to detail earned him widespread acclaim. Meehan is also an accomplished author, having penned "The PDT Cocktail Book" which has become a seminal reference for bartenders worldwide. His contributions to the cocktail community extend beyond the bar, as he actively educates and inspires aspiring mixologists through seminars, workshops, and consulting work. Jim Meehan's unwavering passion for mixology continues to influence and elevate the cocktail scene on a global scale.


Purchase Jim's Books

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