Eddie Muller’s Noir Bar: Cocktails Inspired by The World of Film Noir is set to release on May 23rd, 2023 as the next book in the TCM/Running Press collection. Muller is the host of TCM’s Noir Alley program, and his new book is a perfect combination of recipes and trivia to impress movie buffs and cocktail aficionados alike!
Fans of Noir Alley know that the bar is crucial to the atmosphere of many of these classic pictures. Muller introduces the films on his show from a set which includes a functioning bar. This captures the feel of the film noir classics he loves, and it also harkens back to his first job in his working life: bartending. Noir Bar is the great blend of both classic films and exciting drinks which can be used by the reader in a variety of ways. Just from my time with the book, I sat down and read through the Hollywood trivia on a rainy day, enjoyed a gimlet inspired by The Big Sleep with dinner, and even served up some “Hammett Martinis” for my friends to enjoy during a screening of The Maltese Falcon (the secret is a splash of Bénédictine to balance out the vodka and rum).
Some of the cocktails in the book are featured directly in the classic films, while others are inspired by them. This allows for a range of classic mixes to modern cocktails which will appeal to a wide range of drinkers. For the “inspired by” cocktails, Muller is always creative and thoughtful to the source material or director or actor. This is far from Muller’s first book on film noir, and he keeps things fresh and interesting here by looking at nearly every element of the film and its production through the lens of a drinking glass. The trivia is always fun and the variety to the cocktail combinations means that even the most seasoned home bartender will need to take a few trips to the store for more ingredients.
Like all of the TCM/Running Press books, the presentation of this book is phenomenal. The size is just right to sit on a home bar, and the hardcover binding is classy and neat. The inner pages are stuffed with high resolution photos, original stills, and movie posters to accompany Muller’s text and recipes, and it’s a fun book to thumb through and see what sticks out. It’s the kind of book you could take out at a party and everyone can flip through it and find something new to drink that they’d be sure to like.
Depending on how much drinking you plan to do, Noir Bar might just be the most fun you can have with one of the TCM/Running Press books! There’s more than enough academic information to engage movie buffs, but the subject matter brings in this entirely new element that makes it a blast to read. Here’s hoping that Muller is working on a book of entrées from these films next!