Cafe Royal Cocktail Book

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Cafe Royal Cocktail Book
Cafe Royal Cocktail Book.jpg
Author William J. Tarling
Illustrator Frederick Carter
Publisher United Kingdom Bartenders Guild/Pall Mall Ltd[1]
Publication date

The Cafe Royal Cocktail Book is a collection of cocktail recipes compiled by William J. Tarling, published by the United Kingdom Bartenders Guild in 1937.[2] It contains a number of pioneering recipes, including the 20th Century and what later became the Margarita.


The book focuses on cocktails developed in the 1920s and 1930s as well as those already approved, developed and used by members of the Bartender's Guild. It also contains some of the earliest known recipes for a range of cocktails. Fewer than 25 copies were originally published by the guild.[3]

Tarling compiled the book to raise funds for the guild's sickness fund and the Café Royal's sports club fund whilst he was serving as head bartender at the Cafe Royal.[4]

Notable cocktails[edit]

A number of notable cocktails are detailed in the book, including the first recorded recipe of the 20th Century,[5] several references to absinthe[6] and some of the earliest known recipes for drinks made with tequila and vodka.[2] An early reference to the Margarita was in the book, where it was called a Picador but otherwise used the same concentrations of Partida tequila, freshly squeezed lime juice and Cointreau triple sec.[7] The book borrowed heavily from Tarling's previous composition of cocktails, the Approved Cocktails of the UKBG, which contained drinks developed by members of the guild.[8]

Facsimile edition[edit]

There was only one printing of the original edition of the book, and copies have become difficult to find. In 2008 the UKBG, Universal Exposition of Wines and Spirits, and Mixellany Limited reproduced a facsimile edition.[9]


The original book was illustrated by Frederick Carter, an Associate of the Royal Society of Etchers, Engravers and Illustrators from Bradford.[10]


  1. ^ Tarling, William J. (1937). Café Royal Cocktail Book. Pall Mall Ltd.
  2. ^ a b "Café Royal Cocktail Book by William J Tarling". Exposition Universelle des Vins et Spiriteaux. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  3. ^ "Vintage Cocktail Books: A Recipe for Collecting". Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  4. ^ "Distillery209". Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  5. ^ Le Bordays, Frederic (2015). Cocktails: The New Classics: 60 Recipes. Weldon Owen. ISBN 978-1-681-88072-3.
  6. ^ Baker, Phil (2001). The Dedalus Book of Absinthe. Dedalus. p. 178. ISBN 978-1-873-98294-5.
  7. ^ Difford, Simon (2008). Cocktails: Over 2250 Cocktails. Diffords Guide. p. 276. ISBN 978-0-955-62760-6.
  8. ^ "Approved Cocktails of the UKBG". Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  9. ^ "Cafe Royal Cocktail Book – Google Books". Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  10. ^ Clark, Richard Grenville (1998). Frederic Carter ARE 1883–1967: A Study of his Etchings. Apocalypse Press.