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Artisanal Cocktails: Drinks Inspired by the Seasons from the Bar at Cyrus Hardcover – November 1, 2008

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Artisanal Cocktails: Drinks Inspired by the Seasons from the Bar at Cyrus + The Art of the Bar: Cocktails Inspired by the Classics + Speakeasy: The Employees Only Guide to Classic Cocktails Reimagined
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (November 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580089216
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580089210
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 8.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #523,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As cocktail culture becomes ever more popular, mixed drinks grow ever more refined and complex. Beattie, barmaster for Cyrus Restaurant in the Sonoma wine country, embraces this trend with 50 recipes that are rich in rare fruits, fresh herbs and dried spices. Pickled hearts of palm and a chili pepper spice up the rum drink called a Hot Indian Date, and edible flowers color several concoctions such as the Sunny and Dry, which calls for black-eyed Susan petals, spearmint leaves, cucumber and gin. Even the mainstay simple syrup gets the treatment. Anise, fennel seed, cinnamon, cloves and peppercorns are blended in to create Chinese five-spice syrup. As the subtitle suggests, the recipes are grouped by season. Theoretically, this is a fine approach, but Beattie is a pure Californian. His view of winter is that it's gray and rainy and that California is blessed with so much wonderful citrus. Such warm-weather mentality perhaps explains why the margarita is a winter drink, the mint julep forgoes Derby Day for summer, and soul-warming options like the Manhattan and hot buttered rum turn up in the spring and fall, respectively. (Nov.)
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From the Publisher

A lush, full-color collection of 50 cocktail recipes using organic, sustainable produce, handcrafted ingredients, and local artisanal spirits, from the bar manager at the award-winning Cyrus restaurant. * Recipes for innovative and classic cocktails take advantage of each season's fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers, and spices. * Features profiles of boutique Bay Area distillers and wine country farmers.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 16 customer reviews
All in all, there aren't that many recipes.
D. King
The book features a nice mix of classic cocktails like Caipirinha, Classic Margarita, and Mojito as well as many, many unique recipes.
Chicago Book Addict
Slow Food fans rejoice, you've found the book to complete your culinary library.
Tod Brilliant

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 62 people found the following review helpful By John D. Hearn on December 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Before my review, I need to establish some credibility. I have been making classic cocktails as a hobby for several years now. I have made all the drinks in Ted Haigh's Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails and am presently working my way through Beachbum Berry's tiki books. My liquor cabinet has about 60 different bottles of booze (not counting various syrups, bitters, and other mixers) and grows at a steady rate of 2 to 3 new ingredients per month. I routinely order products I cannot find in my state. I blog about cocktails, participate in forums and discussion panels about cocktails, and even get promotional bottles of alcohol in the mail. (Actually, I received a promotional copy of the book in question.) I regularly host cocktail parties and I frequently make my own syrups, liqueurs, etc. I certainly don't consider myself the same caliber mixologist as the book author, but think it is fair to say I am undaunted by complicated drink recipes or esoteric ingredients. I'm on the aggressive side of amateur hobbyist.

Now, about the book: all the drinks are all lovely, and they look delicious. The photography was gorgeous, and the reading was relatively interesting. Were I visiting Cyrus, I would be happy to order any of these cocktails. But with that said, I will probably never make any of the cocktails in this book. I'm simply not interested in visiting a florist for a bouquet of edible flowers, or traveling a hundred miles to track down Rangpur limes or any other extremely perishable single-use ingredient for the purpose of making one cocktail that will be consumed inside of 10 minutes. If you happen to live somewhere that Meyer lemons, dianthus and borage flowers, olallieberries, and verbana leaves are readily available, more power to you. Maybe this book is for you. For the rest of us, this is a book that will spend its life on the coffee table, or under it, but not at the bar.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Camper English on November 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Beattie's drinks take the hyper-local approach: The ones he makes at the bar at Cyrus largely come from ingredients sourced from neighbors' gardens and citrus trees. Those recipes are included in the book. But what if you don't live in California? That's when the technique tips come in handy. Beattie gives instruction on how to make spiced syrups, candied citrus peels, foams, rims, and pickled fruits and vegetables. You won't find those in other cocktail books. Not only does this book with its recipes instruct people to make the ultimate West Coast cocktails, its advice will help people around the country develop hyper-local drinks with different local produce sourced wherever they are.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By D. King on December 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is fun to read, and full of inspiring photographs, and I have no doubt that Cyrus's bar is wonderful; I want to go. But as someone who makes many home-infused vodkas and has half a dozen cocktail books, I don't find the book as useful as I'd expected. The takes on classics like the mint julep and the negroni don't add much. Other recipes call for blood orange-infused vodka and lemon-infused vodka, and then include blood orange juice and lemon juice. There's duplication of effort that's fine when you have all the infused vodkas handy, but there's no need for them most of the time. The organization of the book is also unhelpful, put together like something you're supposed to read like a book rather than refer to. Grouping simple syrups, foam techniques, and other basics instead of scattering them through the text would have made it more user friendly over time. All in all, there aren't that many recipes. If breadth had been added to take this beyond a reproduction of Cyrus's cocktail menu and make it an expansive playbook and playground of fanciful libations, it could have been a classic. I hope he'll revise this into that book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Fletcher on May 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I almost didn't buy this book because of the reviews here.

I'm so glad that I didn't follow that advice and bought it anyway. There are some drinks that require single-use ingredients that are difficult to source. That does not, however, mean that you have to drive 100 miles to get them. If you're looking for Shiso leaves, go to a Japanese grocer. If you're looking for essential oils, go online (I like liberty natural). It's true you can't get pineapple guavas or olallieberries at any point during the year: that's why the book is divided into seasons. You can't get fiddlehead fronds or fresh morels or fresh white truffles at anytime either. Maybe you can't find olallieberries; there are substitution instructions.

The other criticism that I must disagree with is using flavored vodkas along with juices. It's like asking why you would use chicken broth and have chicken in the same dish. The broth is an extract of the chicken, so why would you need the chicken itself? Part of the techniques in the book are about refinement to take an ordinary cocktail to an extraordinary one.

I'm not going to pretend the recipes are simple; they aren't. However, they are exceptionally rewarding. The book will give you new ideas for techniques and methods that you'll find using even when not following a recipe from the book.

Ultimately, the book is almost more like a cookbook. It will inspire you to get out to your farmer's market, learn about local produce, and try new things you may not have considered before. And help you make some of the best cocktails you've ever had, which is the point after all.
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