The Cocktailian Chronicles: Life with the Professor, Volume 1 is a compilation of re-edited, annotated columns, written by gaz regan, that first appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle in 2003, 2004, and a wee bit of 2005. The book is illustrated by Stuffy Shmitt, a great friend of gaz's, who is a rock 'n' roll musician, singer, and songwriter extraordinaire.
The columns feature The Professor, a fictitious bartender who holds forth from behind the stick in a neighborhood bar somewhere in San Francisco. In each column he highlights specific cocktails while dealing with people such as his boss, a man who is constantly irritated, especially when The Professor gets the better of him (just about all the time), and Regina, the raunchy waitress who dresses inappropriately, flirts shamelessly with customers, and teases The Professor mercilessly.
The Professor also deals with a huge variety of customers. Many of them were based on people who have played a part in gaz regan's life. Each episode is followed by A Word at the End of the Bar in which regan lets us in on who these people were, and how come they made their way into his stories. In some instances regan also provides new cocktail recipes, and discusses all manner of cocktailian palaver.
The Cocktailian Chronicles: Life with the Professor, Volume 1 is a fun read, bringing wit and wisdom together in a very casual manner. It's a must-have for anyone remotely interested in the cocktail culture of the twenty-first century.