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Retro Happy Hour"Retro Happy Hour"
by Linda Everett
Collectors Press 2003
     If you're serious about holding a honest-to-goodness cocktail hour, but don't know where to start, then pick up a copy of Retro Happy Hour. This is not a book for the timid party planner. This is the book you turn to if you want to wow your guests. If you follow the directions in the book, yours will be the party they will talk about for years to come. 
    Retro Happy Hour contains four major sections: party planning, eats, non-alcoholic drink, and alcoholic drink. The recipes in the book cover all the bases when it comes to classic cocktail eats. Lots of finger foods, desserts, and dozens of dips. Some selections include "Blue Duck Inn's French-Fried Deviled Eggs," "Poor Man's Caviar," "Southern Belle Hot Pecans," and "Bayou Biloxi Shrimp." And believe it or not, there is a section devoted exclusively to popcorn balls. One usually doesn't think of popcorn balls as cocktail fare, but this book seems to feel that no good party should be without them.
     The non-alcoholic drink section is a pleasant and welcome surprise. They include a lot of ice cream and/or frozen orange juice drink like the "Rock-Around-The-Clock Party Slush," "Lahaina Luau," and "Flip-Flop Fizzee." All the drinks they list are easy to make and will no doubt add a real sense of cool to any shindig. 
     When it comes to the booze-based drinks, most retro recipe books focus too much on being over-complicated bartenders guides. Retro Happy Hour stays away from the tired old selection and gives you a unique selection that will fit in any theme party from patio cookout to South Seas tiki party. 
     No matter what sort of swinging party you want to have, Retro Happy Hour will show you how to do it up right. This book, besides capturing the 1950's look perfectly, shows a lot of creativity and ingenuity in a party menu that will please anyone. 

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