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The Cocktail Bar by Isabella May (1)



Sophie Partridge comes in at top of this list. Little did she know how her Florida Cocktail Trip of 2016 would plant the champagne bubble that became this book, but those pictures she shared on Facebook were something else and inspired me to get scribbling immediately. So thank you, Soph. I owe you one mahoosive Key West Cooler next time we meet!


Alas, there are so many cocktail companions to list. Old and new, remembered and (eek) forgotten. So here is my attempt at doing just a little bit of that:


Sarah Hill and Laura Moore: I pray to God we never experiment with a drinks cabinet containing Jack Daniels ever again. Caroline Stacey: here’s hoping neither of us will ever be led once more into Mad Dog 20/20, or Diamond White, or neat Cinzano, or Pernod and Black temptation…


Tracy Hails, Jon Davies, Collis Boucher, Peter Mitchelmore, Rich Ellis and Alan Patmore: If my memory serves me correctly, we partook in many a jug of whatever-Happy-Hour-wanted-to-dispense-of at one Las Iguanas in Bristol… overlooking the night that I mistook the kitchen for the Ladies’ room. My curiosity as to the magical notes of mixology could only have grown from there.


Collis: on the Key West Cooler front, maybe eight in a row should be the limit though… especially when one is gracing Covent Garden on a Saturday afternoon!


Book Fair Buddies: Vicky Bostock, Louise Viveiros, Cristina Galimberti, Selena Johnstone, Ruth Owen. Thank you for not raising either eyebrow as I uncouthly supped cocktails with my meal (whilst everybody else politely glugged down their wine). You have all helped to shape my kooky drinking habits.


And Cristina, I shall be ever grateful to you for introducing me to a proper Campari and Orange – with blood orange. If a mixer is to be mixed, it’s to be mixed meticulously.


My husband really cannot be overlooked in all of this either. How patiently he sits and awaits my cocktail verdict (especially if it’s a brand new one I’m trying) wherever we go. He also knocks up the meanest of White Russians.


Mum: I have you to thank for treating me to my first proper Piña Colada – Waldorf Astoria style.


Emma Wilson and Natali Drake: You both added fuel to the cocktail fire that burned within when we collectively began to write about our favourite tipples for a certain magazine.


Ailsa Abraham and Vanessa Couchman, I am indebted to you for the fabulous creations you have kindly donated to The Cocktail Bar, courtesy of the online launch party competition for my first novel. The recipes for both of these magical glasses of elixir can be found at the end of the book. Make sure you patent them: you’re going to sell millions!


Huge gratitude, as ever, to Crooked Cat Books for confirming I am not a One Trick Pony (or kitten). It means the world to me to get another story out there.


And thank you billions to all who have so passionately supported my first novel, only adding to the momentum that is this one:


My family - particularly my dad who tore a knee ligament in the process of carrying out Book Fairy drops! - my mum and my sister, my cousin and my aunt for their constant and fabulous promotion of ‘Pavlova’ all over Somerset – there’s no way I’d have generated such a pre-sales buzz without you. And I cannot forget my niece, who even hiked up Glastonbury Tor for her auntie. Thanks also goes out to my friends (especially Natali Drake for her unparalleled support and beautiful photography, and my old school friends: wow, just wow!), my former colleagues, my current colleagues: the amazing CATS whose knowledge, advice, tips and excitement has been monumental. Then there is my lovely Editor Maureen Vincent-Northam, my Spanish friends, all the fabulous book bloggers… especially the one and only Karlita from Heartale Fix, all the fantastic Facebook book groups… especially the wonderful Wendy Clarke’s (where I ‘just happened’ to meet Jennifer Gilmour), and Helen Boyce’s TBC Reviewer Request Group (well… perhaps with the exception of THAT 2 star review!). The Book Fairies in London and Bristol have also been amazingly helpful with all of the exciting and inspired book drops they voluntarily carried out.


An extra special thank you to Emma Mitchell for everything she has done to help both books shine extra brightly, too.


And an extra, extra special thank you to the Lovely Loomies and Emma Gibbard who kindly let me promote the book for the day, leading to one Jeremy Clarkson being knocked off the top spot in Hot New Releases for Food and Travel Writing on Amazon. Magic!


Last but definitely not least: Bryony Curtis, THANK YOU for introducing me to the marmalade magic of Aperol Spritz at the time of writing these acknowledgements. Where had it been hiding all my life?


About the Author


Isabella May lives in (mostly) sunny Andalucia, Spain with her husband, daughter and son, creatively inspired by the sea and the mountains. When she isn’t having her cake and eating it, sampling a new cocktail on the beach, or ferrying her children to after school activities, she is usually writing.


As a Co-founder and a former contributing writer for the popular online women’s magazine, The Glass House Girls - - she has also been lucky enough to subject the digital world to her other favourite pastimes, travel and the Law of Attraction.


The Cocktail Bar is her second novel. Oh! What a Pavlova is her first.



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