The great friendship between Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson began with a chance meeting in a bar. Bearing this in mind, I decided to write about every wine, spirit and beer mentioned in the Sherlock Holmes stories. This developed into a study of Victorian drinking habits, including information about the best vintages (with tasting notes written in an age when people were not afraid to express their exuberant enthusiasm or icy contempt), details on drinks advertising, a look at a Victorian cellar and medicinal uses of wine, along with a fine compendium of popular Victorian and Edwardian cocktail recipes. Of course, there are chapters comparing the art of wine tasting with the art of detection, and the way Sherlock Holmes’s knowledge of wine led to the resolution of criminal investigations, as well as an essay on what drives wine merchants to crime (their motives have not changed).
Baker Street Irregulars on Bacchus at Baker Street:
“Patricia Guy discusses the wine, beer and spirits, and the barkeepers and wine-merchants found in the Canon with flavor and humor.”
Peter Blau, BSI, ASH “Ms. Guy speculates with expert authority setting the references firmly in their historical context. She goes into fascinating detail…”
Roger Johnson, BSI
How this book came to be:
Several years ago I gave a speech during the Sherlock Holmes birthday celebration held in New York City. I choose to speak about the kinds of wines and spirits Dr. Watson would have administered. At the end of the event I was stopped by a platoon of ladies and gentlemen who asked if I were writing a book about this subject. After thirty minutes of reflection, I said to myself: Why not! And thus Bacchus at Baker Street, my first book, was born. I recently reworked the manuscript, adding new chapters, more Victorian cocktail recipes and updating the information on contemporary wine data. I will always love this little book. I am happy to say that it is now available on Amazon.com.