July 3, 2011 - CBC The Sunday Edition - link to interview


What they're saying about AMERICA WALKS INTO A BAR:


"A robust homage to the history and proliferation of bars and their vast and often overlooked cultural significance."
- Kirkus Reviews

"Here is American history seen through a shot glass. In this brilliant tour Christine Sismondo leads us through its tippling-houses, grog shops, juke joints, and speakeasies. She treats us to the rum punches that made America great and the bathtub gin that produced its many hangovers. Hold on tight, you are in for a wild ride.”
- Scott Nelson, author of STEEL DRIVIN’ MAN: John Henry, the Untold Story of an American Legend

"Bartenders are lucky that writers like you, Jeff Berry, Dave Wondrich and Wayne Curtis write about us. Gives us plenty to study after college!”
- Jim Meehan of New York's famed bar, PDT and Food and Wine

"Breezy, anecdotal, and pun-laden yet complete with a selective bibliography of print sources, Sismondo's book surveys a myriad of American drinking establishments, accenting their importance in social, political, and cultural history and discerning subtle differences over the centuries.”
- Library Journal



Praise for MONDO COCKTAIL - A Shaken and Stirred History


“…take a refreshing dive into Christine Sismondo’s Mondo Cocktail: A Shaken and Stirred History. Chock-full of boozy facts and tart observations, with chapter headings such as “The Bloody Mary and the Communist Threat”, this goes down like a perfect margarita.”
- Julie Powell, author of Julie and Julia

“Christine Sismondo, author of Mondo Cocktail: A Shaken and Stirred History agrees. Her handsome book is crammed full of fascinating cocktail lore that simply can't be found anywhere else. It's clear she loves her cocktails, but it's equally obvious she knows more about what goes into a mixed drink -- and why --than just about anyone else on the planet. Cheers to her, I say. ”
- Marc Horton, National Post.

“This handsome little hardcover book (with numerous appropriate illustrations) should come shrink-wrapped with a cocktail shaker, because only the clinically dead could read Mondo Cocktail and not want to mix a stiff drink. Even a beer guy.”
- Nick Pashley, author of Notes on a Beermat and Cheers: An Intemperate History of Beer in Canada (in theToronto Star)

“Mondo Cocktail was an unexpected pleasure. I'm rather heavily invested in cocktail books, and a very small percentage of the ones in current distribution are worthy of their subject. Of those that are, I either know or have had some sort of interaction with all of their authors - at least I thought I had. I was woefully unaware of Christine Sismondo. Hers is a literary text, and that's a juxtaposition rarely found: the literary cocktail book.

Like other nonfiction books of belletristic note, Mondo Cocktail draws from a wellspring of divergent citations, removed from the central (in this case) cocktail topic, and weaves them artfully into a persuasive narrative. It's both readable and sophisticated. It's also personal in that she stitches herself and her feelings about the subject into the larger tapestry, comfortably, but not self-consciously. She eschews the common stories with their predictable twists, instead opting for her own apparently depthy research. This personal approach invariably introduces elements in the writing with which I disagree, but what a fabulous time I had finding them. ”
- Ted Haigh, a.k.a. Doctor Cocktail and author of Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails.

“This is not the sort of book that will change your life. I would be alarmed if it did. What it will do is make you the life of the party, a font of boozy and breezy stories that are sure to wow. You will be able to quote Faulkner's putdown of Hemingway: “In all you've written, you have never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.” Or dispatch a Martini snob with just one joke: “You're lost in the woods. How do you get help?” Answer: “Start making a martini. Then every jerk in the tri-state area will come to tell you what you're doing wrong.”
- Jessica Warner, author of Craze: Gin and Debauchery in the Age of Reason (in the Globe and Mail)



Home - Excerpt - Events - Bio - Purchase - Other Works - Press - Blog - Contact - Copyright 2011 Christine Sismondo