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Renowned Food Journalist Toni Tipton-Martin Releases New Book of Cocktails

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by Paulina Isaac

December 4, 2023

Toni Tipton-Martin is chronicling how Black people contribute to American cocktail culture.

Tipton-Martin’s new cocktail book, Juke Joints, Jazz Clubs and Juice: Cocktails From Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks, shares 200 years of African American drinking history. “This is really a work of investigative journalism. It’s not just a book of cocktails,” Tipton-Martin, a James Beard award-winning author of several cookbooks and the editor of Cook’s Country magazine, told The New York Times.

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The cocktail book is a continuation of her 2015 book, The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks, and her 2019 follow-up, Jubilee: Recipes From Two Centuries of African American Cooking. “What Toni has done here is essentially create a mixologist’s parallel to what she did in Jubilee,” said Jessica B. Harris, author of High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey From Africa to America. “The two books become a diptych of the food of African Americans, as revealed through their cookbooks.”

When it came to researching her new book of cocktails, she turned to cookbooks published by early Black bartenders like Tom Bullock in 1917 and Julian Anderson in 1919. She also discovered the contributions of Atholene Peyton, a Kentucky-born teacher, whose “Peytonia Cook Book” included a chapter on drinks, with recipes for juleps, gin fizzes, eggnog, a whiskey sour, and a manhattan. Peyton’s story is one of many told in Tipton-Martin’s book.

“The beverage community has been waiting for a book like this,” master mixologist and educator Tiffany Barriere stated, adding that Black people have long known that their ancestors made an impact on cocktails. “It’s just another ‘aha’ moment.”

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Cover photo: Renowned Food Journalist Toni Tipton-Martin Releases New Book of Cocktails/Toni Tipton-Martin/Photo by America’s Test Kitchen

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