• 9.5.2014

    A Proper Cocktail: Tim Tomkinson Illustrates Death & Co Book

    It would seem now that Death & Company’s elaborate cocktail menus, illustrated by Tim Tomkinson and designed by his wife Kate Tomkinson, were mere foreshadowing for the mixology book that founder David Kaplan would one day publish with Nick Fauchald and Alex Day. The East Village, NYC, establishment was named for the early days of Prohibition, when death was said to be drink's inevitable accompaniment; nevertheless, Death & Co is going strong, regarded as “the birthplace of some of the modern era’s most iconic drinks.” Random House’s Ten Speed Press will release their beautiful, cloth-bound book on October 7, 2014, containing over 500 recipes, photography by William Hereford, more than 100 illustrations by Tim Tomkinson, Kate Tomkinson's design, brief narratives about the bar’s unusual patrons, mixology theory, philosophy, and a spirits guide.

    The red titles Tomkinson created for the bar’s original menus were a custom font he built from a single line of text on an old stock certificate. Provided with only about 25% of the alphabet, Tomkinson used bits and pieces of the letters that were there to reconstruct the rest. These titles, along with about 30 existing illustrations, made their way into the new comprehensive book. Finally, his crest, which is present on the bar’s menus and used as a secondary logo in several applications, appears on the book's front cover in silver foil.

    Additional illustrations created specifically for this project include “17 portraits, all of the garnishes they use at the bar, the tools, glassware, techniques, ice, some of the booze, chapter openers, and other more conceptual pieces,” Tim said. He and Kate have been working with David Kaplan since 2012 on first the proposal and then on the actual pages. They will travel to NYC in October for Death & Co’s official launch party, where cocktails are sure copiously to flow.

     

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