"Of All the Gin Joints: Stumbling through Hollywood History" by...

"Of All the Gin Joints: Stumbling through Hollywood History" by Mark Bailey, Edward Hemingway (illustrator). Credit: Algonquin Books

If you find tales of old-time Hollywood simply intoxicating, you're not alone.

Emmy-nominated screenwriter Mark Bailey has concocted a heady mixture of stories from Hollywood watering holes, starting in the silent era and running through 1979, in his new book, "Of All the Gin Joints: Stumbling Through Hollywood History" (Algonquin).

There are snappy little bios of some of Hollywood's most famous imbibers, like Frank Sinatra and W.C. Fields. Fizzy tidbits also are served up, including the origin of the chocolate martini that Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor created on the set of "Giant" by adding chocolate syrup and chocolate liqueur to the cocktail.

There also are visits to famous Tinseltown gin joints like Trader Vic's, where the mai tai was born, and recipes for celebrities' potent potables, including Robert Mitchum's Eye-Opener, a hangover remedy of bourbon, freshly squeezed orange juice, honey and a raw egg.

And like an olive in a dry martini, Edward Hemingway's slightly off-kilter illustrations are a nice adornment. Cheers!

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