Francesco Lafranconi

Corporate director of mixology and spirits education Southern Wine and Spirits of America; age 38.

My most prized possessions are my cocktail and spirits books. I have close to 1,000, and they include Jerry Thomas’ How to Mix Drinks, A Bon Vivant’s Companion (1862), one of the first cocktail recipes book ever written. I do also own the first French treatise (1820) about distillation of grain and potato spirits ever written by a woman. I can’t disclose the source where I find these books; it is too precious. But for the most part I buy them during my travels from antique bookstores and private collectors.



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