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Absinthe Cocktails Hardcover – October 6, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kate Simon is editor-at-large at Imbibe, the magazine of liquid culture. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

Lara Ferroni's food photography has appeared on Epicurious.com. She lives in Seattle, Washington.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (October 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811873293
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811873291
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #392,301 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By MussSyke TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I was thrilled to come across this book. I had always loved absinthe as sort of a cultural obsession and I had quite the supply personally imported during the forbidden years here in the States. But it honestly never occurred to me there was much you could do with it except drink it straight or with water and/or sugar. But there are over 50 recipes in here!

When I know about something, I am kind of a snob about it, so I was cynical about the historical and cultural content of this book, but it was well done and well written and I may have learned something after all. It's a well put together, neat looking book that just begs for attention from your coffee table - enticing pictures and interesting designs throughout. Fun to look through for any fan of a good drink.

And the drinks are good. But this book is definitely not for everyone:

In preparation for this review - and my own curiosity - I counted my liquor this morning. I have literally 144 different liquors and liqueurs in the house that I brought back from all over the world, and I can only make a couple of recipes in this book exactly as the author describes. There are even a few things I hadn't heard of before. The drinks have been fantastic without much need for reapportioning or anything like that, but it astounds me just how much my bar is missing. It will cost quite a sum by the time I get all this stuff, but the research and shopping will be fun, indeed. But only if that kind of thing is for you.

Some of the less common mixers asked for frequently in the book are Peychaud's bitters (you can get them here on Amazon), Cherry Heering, Creme de Violette, St. Germain, Benedictine, and Ginger Liqueur.

Also note that these are all drinks for people that like good cocktails.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Graves VINE VOICE on February 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When I open a book of drinks recipes the flavor of a drink is subjective but there are some important things I want to see which are not. These include does the writer make the drinks sound fun? Do they seem to be writing for me and not some elite club in darkened hallways with secret handshakes and is it possible to approach the drinks for experimentation without having to lay out lots of cash? Thankfully in Kate Simon's "Absinthe Cocktails" the answer to all these is yes.

For those who don't know absinthe, it is a very potent, licorice flavored, green liquor that was popular with the `in crowd' of artistic communities, most famously in Paris, during the `belle epoch.' Having the good fortune to hit Paris as the cocktail was being invented and the French wine industry was cursed by blight it became the in drink for many people but it fell out of favor and was banned due to cheaper production causing brain lesions and a resurgent French wine clique putting pressure on the culture. It is now enjoying something of a revival in a new, safer version.

Absinthe Cocktails explains this in more detail without being pretentious and manages to keep a sense of humor about the whole thing. After all this is about drinking. More than just the history of the liquor and the horrors its faux impostors created, Simon explains how it acts and why many recipes in an Absinth book have only a trace amount of the liquor.

When it comes to the drinks themselves anyone with a halfway decent bar set up will be able to start experimenting right after getting a bottle of absinthe. Beyond the recipe themselves Simon includes a few words on the history of the drinks and suggestions for altering them slightly if you don't like the taste.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John W. Graham VINE VOICE on February 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I got this book to supplement some existing books I have on the subject of cocktails.

Though I doubt there are hoards of anise-flavored spirit lovers out there, I happen to enjoy Absinthe. My first impression of the book was that it was a very attractive volume, suitable for display on the coffee table. Rich with photos, the book doesn't disappoint on visual appeal. There is a nice historical context presented about Absinthe, and tips on brands and glassware.

As with most cocktail references, there are some hard-to-find and/or expensive ingredients listed in some of the cocktail recipes, so it pays to be selective about what you want to experiment with. You will need to know up front that Absinthe is not going to be cheap, and don't expect to mix cheap ingredients with it. My local liquor store had Lucid and Pernod brands, as well as La Clandestine and Koruba, amongst others. I ended up getting Distillerie Vinet Ege Absinthe Le Tourment Vert, for whatever reason.

That said, I did try some of the recipes, starting with the classics (Sazerac, etc). I have to say that I am as impressed with the recipes as I am with the gorgeous book. If you are looking for a great reference book on Absinthe...this is it!
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Harkius VINE VOICE on January 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
There are a few things to know about this book.

First, it is a coffee table book more than it is a practical manual of "mixology". This is evident from the beautiful photos and the fact that more attention is paid to style than to substance. In part, this is probably due to the fact that most people are more familiar with absinthe as a stylish drink than they are as a viable spirit.

Second, absinthe is still a little faddish. This goes with the first. Realistically, if you tell people that absinthe is your favorite spirit, they're likely to think that you're either a poser or that you're a lush. In reality, the complex flavors of absinthe mean that (for those inclined to spend money) it is as reasonable a drink to enjoy amongst company as a fine Scotch. While I have tried a few of these cocktails, I vastly prefer absinthe mixed with something simpler, like Tarhun (a tarragon-flavored soda) or with water. I roll simple, but deep.

With those things in mind, it's not really that surprising that I don't really think that actually MAKING the cocktails is the point. Rather, you are supposed to put this book somewhere obvious (preferably near your absinthe glass and spoon), and have people marvel at your worldliness. Then, when they suggest a recipe to try it out, you mention that you're just fresh out of a few of the ingredients. In this way, your bluff isn't called.

If you ARE forced to actually make some of these cocktails, though, there are two things to keep in mind.

First, many of the ingredients in the book are relatively expensive. If you are willing to drop a significant amount of money, you can try most of the recipes. Many of the liquers required were things that I have never even heard of. Most of them were things that I've never tried.
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