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Cócteles, coctelería y bartenders. Fundamentos (Volumen I)

Cocktails, cocktail making and bartenders. Fundamentals (Volume I)

The first volume of Cocktail Sapiens is a thought-provoking compendium of reflections and analysis offering an insight into the basics of the bartender’s profession: What are cocktails? In what circumstances do we drink them? How have they evolved throughout history and who are the most celebrated figures? How are they classified?


328 pages

230 x 330 mm

Hard cover

ISBN: 978-84-09-05125-0

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This is the first of four volumes comprising the Cocktail Sapiens. A 328-page work that examines cocktails in their many forms and expressions, employing a scientific and humanistic perspective. The title, Fundamentals, defines the mission of the book: an analysis of certain questions aimed at helping us understand the world of cocktails. Questions such as: What is a cocktail? And a cocktail bar?


Cocktails have special prerequisites; it is a social drink enjoyed at particular moments and in given circumstances. Identifying the behavioural patterns involved in drinking cocktails enables us to address other main questions: Where are cocktails drunk? At what time and on which occasion? Knowing these determining factors fosters innovation and contributes to possible new lines of business.


In addition, an especially useful chapter explains how cocktails are classified, permitting us to codify knowledge, establish relationships between data and understand the same cocktail from many different angles. Classification is also a practical tool for the design of well balanced drink menus.


One of the most extensive chapters focuses on the origin and evolution of cocktails. It offers a fascinating journey along the path taken by cocktails, from prehistoric times to the present day. This evolution is illustrated through the various “stages in the history of cocktails” and ends with an analysis of creative evolution.


Finally, two annexes are included to list the people and establishments – classical and contemporary – that will be of interest to every bar professional and cocktail lover.

In this section is a short summary of each chapter of the book

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What is Cocktail Sapiens? Why is it called that? This work aims to analyse the concept of “cocktails” in all its breadth, starting with the essential aspects. It is not possible to think of innovating – in any branch of knowledge – without first gathering and classifying the available information. It is only possible to […]


Lexical-semantic aspects

What’s a cocktail? And a cocktail bar? In this chapter we will try to shed some light on the two central terms at the core of this work. First we examine the controversial etymology of the term, then consider its historical use and the limits of its classical definitions. We also ask a series of […]


Intentionality and geopolitical aspects

In this brief chapter we will comment on the perspective taken to approach this work. Previously we defined the “what”, now we go on to contextualise the “from where”, or, in other words, the biases and limitations implied in our way of understanding cocktails. We are fully aware that this book is written in a […]


Where are cocktails consumed?

The aim of the third chapter is to examine those spaces where cocktails are consumed; not only those specific to them, such as the cocktail bar, but also other spaces where cocktails have appeared over time. Although the second volume of Cocktail Sapiens deals with this in greater depth, in this chapter we set out […]


When are cocktails consumed?

In addition to spatial criteria, the time of day and the social occasion are further determinants for the choice of when and what type of cocktail is consumed. Our patterns of consumption are set by our timetables and daily routines, along with our working habits. An appreciation of these can help when we consider new […]


How to classify cocktails?

A most important chapter in the book, given that classification is the cornerstone of the Sapiens method. This is because it allows us to systematically explore knowledge, then order it, establishing relationships from the data obtained, and, in this way, making the knowledge more serviceable. This matrix can also be used in an inverse way, […]


Origin and evolution of cocktails

The sixth chapter, one of the most extensive, focuses on the long journey that has led us to perceive cocktails as we see them today. We chose not to start from the moment that the “cocktail” is first referred to in its modern meaning, but to go further back in order to reveal the historical […]


The present day: analysis of creative evolution

A particularly important aim of the Sapiens methodology is the study of creation and innovation within organisations, and their evolution over time. Through in-depth interviews, inspired by journalism and ethnography, we have carried out an analysis of the case studies of three businesses that each incorporated significant innovations which had consequences for the future development […]



We have included, as a concise directory, two appendices dedicated to listing the people (bartenders) and the establishments, classic and contemporary, that we believe to be essential for any professional intending to enter the world of cocktails. This is a very brief selection, which will be expanded in subsequent editions based on discussions generated by […]

An insight into the fascinating world of cocktails that is both groundbreaking and encyclopaedic. Essential for professionals in the sector, but also compelling for those of a restless and enterprising spirit wanting to learn more of this discipline.

Josep María Bardají - Bacardi España

The vocation of bartending is about a communion between the passion for detail and an affection towards the customers on the other side of the bar. Our professional know-how has always embraced both the urban legends of the cocktail bar and the real and verifiable knowledge of the history, context and flavour of the cocktail. This love and devotion impelled us to accept those urban legends as bone fide. However, our passion has also driven us to reappraise everything, seeking new responses to questions concerning the when, why and how of the creation, existence and the experience of drinking a cocktail. This book is proof of this.

Simone Caporale

A generous and accessible work, imparting know-how of cocktails and the culture of bars; designed so that all bartenders feel a part of the project. Typical of Bullipedia.

Javier de Las Muelas