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Food & Wine Cocktails 2011: An indispensable mix of excellent cocktails and food to go with them, plus the ultimate guide to the top bars and lounges around the country. Paperback – May 3, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
I also enjoy that the book is divided into categories off of their base ingredient. I often "feel like" a gin-drink tonight, or whiskey or rum, etc, and it's so handy to just flip to that chapter. The mocktails are appreciated and tasty as well.
I personally had no difficulty with having all the appropriate ingredients for almost all of the drinks, but perhaps this is because my bar sensibility is very similar to the editor's. In addition to a set of good base ingredients (light and dark rum, gin, bourbon, scotch, tequila, vodka, brandy), you're going to want to have at least one bitters (best bet angostura), Aperol or Campari, Chartreuse (either yellow or green), dry and sweet vermouth and St Germain. If you want a bit more coverage you might also grab some apple brandy, ginger liqueur, Cynar, Lillet Blanc, Benedictine and some Amaro. With even just the first set, though, and some fresh citrus you can make the many of the drinks in the book. Now admittedly, that's what a more "retro" bar looks like. And most folks bars are instead filled with Malibu, flavored vodkas, Midori, etc. And you will have no luck with those kinds of ingredients in this book.
I highly recommend making room in your bar for some of the more layered and interesting Italian herbal liqueurs, and ditching the sugary stuff.
Last night, I went through the 2011 edition. Now, I have what I would consider a full bar: Vodka, vermouth, rum (white, dark, and old), tequila (silver and reposado), gin, Grand Marnier, whiskey, genever, Passoa (passion fruit), cognac and American brandy, white and dark chocolate liqueurs, Baileys, Kahlua, green chartreuse, absinthe, vin d'orange, galliano, benedictine, St. Germain, amaretto, kirsch, Jagermeister, Campari, Hpnotiq, calvados, plum schnapps, mead, chestnut and walnut liqueurs, peppermint schnapps, crème de menthe, port, Tuaca, vanilla liqueur and black cherry liqueur. I also have Peychaud's and Angostura bitters, rose and orange blossom waters, lemons, limes, and oranges, Champagne and sparkling wine, tonic water, club soda, and seltzer water, and a very well stocked pantry and herb garden.
The ONLY drinks I had all the ingredients for were the Margarita (I LOVE Margaritas, have my own special recipe, didn't buy this book for a Margarita recipe), "Air Mail" (white rum, honey, lime and Champagne), "Wildflower" (this is what I ended up making; rum, cognac, lime, orange, maple syrup, sprinkle of cinnamon), and Victoria Room Punch (aged rum, lemon, agave, Earl Grey tea). Only four out of "More than 130 outstanding cocktails?!"
I came very close to being able to make several more: "darn, I don't have any blackberries!" Or, "darn, I don't have any ginger to make ginger simple syrup."
It's very clear that green chartreuse is out, yellow is in. It's also very clear that I need a bottle of maraschino liqueur. Oh, and a bottle of mezcal and a bottle of clove liqueur.
I don't mind that the drinks are really, really specialized.Read more ›
Maybe I'm being unfair. I fixed myself a bourbon Manhattan (Jim Beam bourbon, Martini sweet vermouth with Angostura aromatic bitters!) and had a second look. OK, I'll give it one and a half stars because I liked the pictures.