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Cocktail Techniques Hardcover – May 3, 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kazuo Uyeda was born in Chanai, Hokkaido. His first bartending job was at Tokyo Kaikan in 1966. Eight years later he moved to Shiseido Parlor as manager and chief bartender at Bar l'Osier. He has participated in international competitions as well as many in Japan, winning many awards and gaining broad renown. In 1997 he opened his own bar, Tender in Ginza, Tokyo. Today he can be found at the bar shaking the shaker and mixing drinks as owner and bartender.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 207 pages
  • Publisher: Mud Puddle Books; First edition (May 3, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603112146
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603112147
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 4.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Kazuo Uyeda is a legendary bartender and is perhaps most known for inventing the "hard shake" (there are plenty of videos depicting it online). Simply, it "means shaking the shaker in an intricate pattern," with the ultimate goal of creating aeration in order to soften the bite of the alcohol and other ingredients. There are 9 pages, with pictures, dedicated to introducing the hard shake, its proper execution, and gauging the appropriate context for its use - it's not a technique for every shaken drink. There are another 40 pages which discuss ice (including how to make spheres), glasses, proper technique for handling a bottle, rimming, and stirring experiments (including intricate details like the correlation between the number of stirs and type of ice to the temperature and dilution of a drink. I have not seen data like this except in the Cooking Issues blog run by Dave Arnold of the French Culinary Institute). The Japanese have a stereotype for being obsessive perfectionists when it comes to crafts, and it is very evident in this book - that's a good thing. Whether or not you buy into the hard shake and other techniques presented, it provides a welcome glimpse into the world of Japanese cocktails with its attention to detail and the preference for "subtle shadings over the impact of one strong flavor."

The second portion of the book (about 125 pages) focuses on cocktail recipes, and thankfully includes a photo for every drink listed (I'm seriously coveting some of the glassware used). There are 30 standard cocktails, which is not nearly an exhaustive list - for instance, there are only 3 whiskey drinks in this section. I don't think that's a bad thing since the point of this book is to present Uyeda's vision.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While there are several bartending books that seem content with a few introductory pages and the bulk containing various recipes, Uyeda puts a strong focus on the art of bartending. Some of the techniques mentioned include stirring, the use of ice, the use of carbonation, measuring ingredients, and cutting fruit. His signature Hard Shake is also described in great detail, from the exact way to hold the shaker to the motions of each shake. Thankfully each step in his instructions includes a photo reference, which the somewhat grainy quality of the photos are helped made clearer by the high quality of paper this book is printed on.

Instructions aside, he describes his philosophy as a bartender and what one must keep in mind with each guest. From how one pours liquor to overall cleanliness, every action must be kept in mind to please individual guests. I suppose it could be seen as being a perfectionist, but his reasoning behind it made sense. If a bartender with a slovenly appearance makes a cocktail while accidentally spilling liquor in the process, would that not effect the guest's opinion of its taste even before the first sip? What is more important, the process or the end result?

The book contains only 61 cocktails, 30 traditional cocktails such as the Gimlet and Bellini and 31 original creations. This could be viewed as a slight complaint, but the limited size allows him to better focus on each cocktail. A standard recipe is shown at the end of each cocktail, along with his own variation with justifications for why each tweak is made. Uyeda goes so far as to suggest specific brands, thankfully citing affordable ones such as Smirnoff and Beefeater.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book has great content from a master... if you can read it. Who in their right mind thought using about 8 font light gray text was a good idea? I want to read this book cover to cover, but it's an actual pain to read. Read the text on the hard shake, forget the equally small pictures, and instead watch him on youtube.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent small cocktail book by a Japanese master. Includes techniques and etiquette. Each page has beautiful pictures of the techniques and pictures for each cocktail. Includes some classic plus popular drinks in Japan.

PS. I recommend visiting his bar in Tokyo. Very cozy and elegant space.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
At first i was doubting this book from the cover saying Kazuo Uyeda which supposed to be "Ueda". Well I bought it anyway since it's not easy to find Master Ueda's book in Australia. It turned out that, this is one of the best cocktail book i ever have!!!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Kazuo Uyeda is the master of the hard shake. His recipes are at once dated and innovative, and his prose, even if translated, is charming. As far as bartenders are concerned, he's in another league.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book just great as it is. Uyeda explained the philosophy of Japanese bartending.
It really helps to understand the culture, the reasons, and the techniques of bartending used in Japanese bartending.
And I would like to thank amazon to providthis book, since it is really hard to find it in Indonesia.
Customer Service staffs were great too. First I received broken book. Pages and pages of book are broken.
I did consult with the CS, and they directly sent me the new one!
I didnot have to pay for the shipping cost of the replacement book too!
But, I still have to send broken book back to amazon or they will charge my creditcard.
I went to post office, asked the shipping cost, and it turned to $30 more than the book itself ($22).
I asked amazon, what should I do? They told me that they will change the shipping cost of returement broken book, at first. Later, I just told that I was free to keep it for my ownself, or passed it for charity, or anything.
Finally, I gave it to my campus library.
It was a pleasing experiment for my first time buying some books at amazon. Great!
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