I have had the enjoyable opportunity to share many cocktails with Colin, and am extremely thrilled that he has published a book of some of the great cocktails that he serves to his guests at the Ritz in Paris. While this book does have a "small" collection of recipes for standard cocktials (Mojito, Whiskey Sour, Pina Colada, Daiquiri...), it is a very small list, and simply represents some of the standard cocktails the way that Colin makes them in his bar. This book instead shines in the collection of cocktails that appear in Chapter 5 : "Cocktails and the stories that belong to them". Here Colin shares his recipes for the "Ritz Pimm's", "Miss Bonde", "The Georges", "Serendipiti", and many others which Mr. Field shares not only the recipe, but some of the story surrounding its birth. The "Bar Hemingway" is indeed a unique bar in the heart of Paris, just as Colin Field is a unique bartender. It should then come as no great surprise that his first cocktail book reflects this uniqueness in ways that will make it a favorite of many.
I was so fortunate to have the opportunity to spend New Year at the Ritz in Paris. The absolute highlight was the time spent in the Hemingway Bar. I never understood the meaning of serendipity until I found it, and to find there was a cocktail named after it when I did was more than the icing on the cake. Colin and his colleagues are not only masters of their trade, but also charming, witty, knowledgeable, humurous in the extreme. The perfect barmen. I bought the book as a souvenir and have been unable to put it down since opening at the first page. This is a must for any pretender to Colin's throne. Unfortunately, I suspect his abdication from the position of best bartender in the world will be a long time coming. The Hemingway Bar is the best kept secret in Paris and long may it remain so. Ssssshhh, don't tell anyone.
I've been lucky enough to go to the Hemingway Bar at the Ritz Paris and be served by Colin, so I have a lot of respect and adulation for him. My partner got me this book since she knew how much I loved the place. I would say this is one of the finest cocktail books you can get. The recipes are easy to understand and execute, and sure to impress all your friends. The stories and histories of the cocktails presented in this book are informative and entertaining as well. Actually the stories are what sets this book above other recipe books.
If you're serious about cocktails and respect the art that can go into bar tending then you should absolutely add this to your collection. And if you're ever in Paris, be sure to drop by the Hemingway Bar to get your copy signed by Colin.
My sister and I had the pleasure of meeting author Colin Field last year at the Hemingway Bar at the Ritz hotel in Paris. The previous year I had given the book to my sister and we vowed to visit him a year later. He oozed charm and sophistication, and his cocktails were original and vibrant. The recipes in the book are wonderful, with only a few weird concoctions.
This is a marvellous little book, not just for the great recipes (and there are some wonderful Ritz originals that show that a fine cocktail is based on a simple, inspired idea), but also for the very entertaining histories and anecdotes. In addition, there are excellent sections on strategies for creating cocktails and the glasses and etiquette for serving them. Finally, it is beautifully illustrated with whimsical artwork. This is a treasure.
This book is very cool - great to have out for a cocktail party. Lots of illustrations and good recipes. Nice addition to the bar. This item may have been a 'second' or slightly used, because when it came, it had a green marker stripe on the side of the pages, like it had been marked for some reason. I don't mind, but if you are giving it as a gift it may be something to consider.