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Good Spirits: Recipes, Revelations, Refreshments, and Romance, Shaken and Served with a Twist Hardcover – September 12, 2007


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Good Spirits: Recipes, Revelations, Refreshments, and Romance, Shaken and Served with a Twist + Dark Spirits: 200 Classy Concoctions Starring Bourbon, Brandy, Scotch, Whiskey, Rum and More + The Craft of the Cocktail: Everything You Need to Know to Be a Master Bartender, with 500 Recipes
Price for all three: $63.07

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Common Press (September 12, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558323368
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558323360
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 5.8 x 10.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #206,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A. J. Rathbun is a freelance food and entertaining writer and the author of Champagne Cocktails, Wine Cocktails, Dark Spirits, Luscious Liqueurs, Party Drinks!, and the International Association of Culinary Professionals Award-winning Good Spirits. Rathbun earned his MFA in creative writing from Western Michigan University, and has worked variously as a buyer for Amazon.com, an usher at the Art Institute of Chicago, a rock band roadie, an envelope stuffer, a marketing assistant, the director of the Poetry After Hours program at the Seattle Art Museum, an online editor, a waiter, and of course, a bartender. In addition to his cookbooks, Rathbun is the editor of In Their Cups and the author of Want, two poetry collections. Rathbun has been a guest, talking about drinks, food, entertaining, and kitchen products, on numerous radio shows, including Martha Stewart's Everyday Food satellite radio program and USA Radio, has done interviews with a variety of publications, including the Seattle Times, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and the Arizona Republic, and has contributed to the magazines Every Day with Rachael Ray and Wine Enthusiast, among others. He is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals and the Museum of the American Cocktail. He teaches cocktail classes at the cooking school Dish It Up, one of which was recently profiled in the magazine Traditional Homes. Rathbun lives in Seattle, Washington. To learn more about him and his books, and to read his blog, Spiked Punch, and check out a few of his drink-making videos, visit his website at www.ajrathbun.com. 

More About the Author

A.J. Rathbun is a food and entertaining writer and poet and the author of Champagne Cocktails, Dark Spirits, Wine Cocktails, Luscious Liqueurs, Party Snacks!, Party Drinks!, the IACP Award-winning Good Spirits, Double Take (in collaboration with chef Jeremy Holt), and editor and contributor for In Their Cups. In addition to his cocktail books and cookbooks, Rathbun is the author of Want, a collection of poems. He lives in Seattle, Washington. To learn more, visit Rathbun's website at www.ajrathbun.com and drink up his blog Spiked Punch (it's lonely, and needs attention).

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 17 customer reviews
It's so beautiful, it's so heavy, it's so full of gorgeous pictures and even MORE gorgeous writing and recipes.
Rebecca A. Staffel
I dare say that nearly any cocktail book will have decent-to-good recipes for the Usual Suspects, and for most of us any one of the book choices will do.
Esther Schindler
I highly recommend this as a starter cocktail book for the novice, and it's great to have as a reference book if you're more experienced.
Celeste Thayer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca A. Staffel on October 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This enormous box just arrived from Amazon! It only had ONE book in it! This one! Wow! It's so beautiful, it's so heavy, it's so full of gorgeous pictures and even MORE gorgeous writing and recipes.

I love all the lists ("Five drinks to serve to the in-laws" "Six obscure facts to bring up at the bar"). I love that all the French I've seen so far is correct. Of course, I love that the Rebecca gets another shot at greatness. I love the index by primary alcohol. I love the list of specific gravities of different liqueurs so I can make fancy layered drinks. And ohmigoodness, I just love that there is an obscene number of recipes in this book--some for crowds, some for a twosome, some for summer, some for winter. It goes on and on and on.

I was going to have wine tonight, but that's out the window now. There's pineapple juice in the fridge--sounds like it's time for a French Martini!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jared Castle TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What makes this book so challenging to review is that author A.J. Rathbun expertly mixes recipes with wit and enough trivia to keep you entertained, educated and inspired through more than 450 pages of libations.

This is more than a recipe book. Rathbun's guide is the next best thing to having your own personal bartender.

I've carried this book around since last December; packing it to my office, to friends' houses and to bars and restaurants. The results were mixed. Several friends asked me to bring the book along. A co-worker borrowed the book and returned the next day, asking me to buy her a copy on Amazon (I did). However, a waitress sneered at the book when I ordered a London Fog (page 114: two ounces gin, a half-ounce Pernod, served over ice in a rock glass). She came back to my table and informed me the bar was out of Pernod.

The book's one fault it is that too many recipes require ingredients you won't find stocked at an average bar. An entire chapter is dedicated to martinis (seriously, how many establishments stock alder-smoked, black peppercorn-crusted bacon for a "Bacontini"). Obviously, Rathbun frequents higher-end drinking establishments (I got the sense he's a regular at Scotch-and-brandy bars throughout Seattle).

In fairness, Rathbun never comes across as snobbish either. His tips are practical and easy to understand. For example, one of the few cold, hard rules he maintains throughout the book is the use of freshly squeezed juice.

Rathbun nicely balances trendy recipes with classics, crowd pleasers and some of my old-time favorites like the Rusty Nail, the Godfather and the Harvey Wallbanger, which are included in a chapter entitled "An Obscure Reliquary."

In summary, Good Spirits is an excellent resource for your home bar as well as an entertaining coffee table book filled with lucious photographs, anecdotes and lots of humor. Rating: Five stars.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mark Butler on October 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a big fan of A.J. Rathbun's previous cocktail book, Party Drinks, I have to admit that I had high expectations for his comprehensive guide, Good Spirits. But as I cracked open the new book, I immediately knew that he had knocked this one out of the park. The recipes are easy to follow, and the descriptions make me want to shake, stir, and sip almost every drink in the book. (The mouthwatering photos in Good Spirits add to the attraction too!) But, most importantly, since this is a book about good times and good fun, A.J. has taken great care to make sure that the book itself is part of the joy of entertaining. Like the cocktails in the book, Good Spirits is perfectly mixed!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By AndreaLeigh on August 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Three cheers for the Bacontini! This is just one of the many interesting drinks profiled in this enchanting book. Chock full of recipes and fun anecdotes, Good Spirits is indispensable when it comes to looking for the perfect drink to serve for just about any occasion. The only issue I had with it was getting distracted by the hilarious commentary when trying to quickly reference a recipe--it's just too good to put down! I have my cookbooks and cocktail books displayed in my kitchen and this one always gets commented on by guests because of its good looks. Beauty and brains--a great find! I bought several copies--for myself and as gifts since it makes a great coffee-table book too!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By seamonkey10 on November 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover
For such a large book, it seems like wasted space at times. I like cocktail books that describe the history, ingredients, tastes, effects of mixing the liqueurs, and different variations - you know, helpful stuff. I mean, I bought it to make drinks.

Instead of helpful information, almost every description of the drink is some cheesy pun or joke that is absolutely meaningless, and wastes my time when trying to learn about a drink.

For example, for the drink Lollipop, he puts the lollipop song in the description, references to his childhood, why it was helpful that he didn't drink at a young age, and goes on to say, "don't end up licking this drink, or you'll get cut off"

bu-dump-bump

Cheesy joke after cheesy joke, for every drink.

And when I read another drink book - where it seems like they don't have enough room to fit in their vast knowledge of particular drink - I look at how big this book is, and how it's a vast desert of wasted space.

If I had something good to say about it, it does have a lot of recipes in it, and the way they're categorized is novel. It's not a completely worthless book, but I find I don't want to read it because of the descriptions.
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