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Raising the Bar: Better Drinks, Better Entertaining Hardcover – November 15, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Mautone, former manager of New York's Gotham Bar and Grill, and Gramercy Tavern, applies 20 years of fine-dining knowledge to the art of the cocktail, explaining how to perfect the Manhattan and the Martini, and bringing herbs, exotic fruits and other unpredictables into the realm of the highball. Beginning with chapters on bar basics and ingredients, Mautone addresses the science of balancing liquor and mixer, lectures on the proper size of ice cubes, and reveals that homemade grenadine is as simple as sugar, water and pomegranate juice. Fifty-two of the 250-plus offerings fall into the "Favorite Classic Cocktails" section, resplendent with standards like the Old-Fashioned and the Rusty Nail. Thus fortified, the rest of the book strives for, and often attains, a level of Falstaffian bliss. There's a Kaffir Lime Kocktail with honey and tequila, and a Whiskey and Ginger Muddle with dried apricots and fresh ginger awash in bourbon. A section on nogs features eggnog, mulled wines and a Chestnut Hot Chocolate with Frangelico. Experiments with herbs include the Rosmarino, with rosemary-infused vodka, and a Basil Martini, topped with a slice of sun-dried tomato. Wasabi turns up in an Asian Mary, taking the place of a Bloody's traditional horseradish. Mautone includes 15 nonalcoholic ades and punches, as well as snacks like Pumpkin Seed Popcorn and Bourbon-Bacon Bean Dip. Color photos throughout.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Nick Mautone runs a food management and consulting company. Previously, he managed a series of restaurants, including New York's Gotham Bar and Grill and Gramercy Tavern. Mautone has been featured in The New York Times, Food & Wine, and on the CBS Early Show. He lives in New York with his wife and daughter.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Artisan; First Edition edition (November 15, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579652603
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579652609
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #973,114 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John Eric Fuqua on December 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
In "Raising the Bar", Nick Mautone brings a new fresh perspective to entertaining. Being an avid reader of his column in Cargo magazine, I was intrigued to learn that he had written a book on cocktails and entertaining. Mr. Mautone's approach to basic concepts about drink making deconstructed my original thinking and recompiled it into a completely limitless wealth of possibilities. A great example is after reading the recipe for the "Basil Martini", I will never look at a Bloody Mary the same way again.

Though many other writers have published different ideas in food magazines, they always seem to be awkward and complicated. In contrast Mr. Mautone's easy and savory recipes and ideas leave me scratching my head and wondering "Why didn't I ever think of that?". Having had the opportunity to play with the drink recipes and pairing them with the food ideas "Raising the Bar" has surpassed any and all expectations I would have in an entertaining book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Donald A. Nelson on January 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I am a bartender at a high volume, outdoor bar in Key West Fl. Our bar is set up for maximum speed...and unfortunately many times that means that the final product is not something that I am entirely happy with...but it works fine for what we are doing.

The recipes in this book are the kinds of drinks I would prepare on a day off, for friends from my own private bar at home.

Drinks you can be proud to serve. Drinks that have been tweaked by a "master mixoligist"...and Nick Mautone is definitely a master of his craft.

I collect cocktail books, and rarely will I purchase a new release and be pleased with it. This book however is quickly becoming one of my favorites, and I find myself referencing it more and more frequently.

My only complaint is that the Mr. Mautone varies the servings for each recipe...which is really no big deal as they can easily be increased or decreased depending on your desired need. I am just used to reading a recipe and it yielding 1 drink.

Filled with gorgeous color photos, the book is great as a coffee table book as well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Francesca Rockefeller on November 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Fabulous book! Great recipes for standard and unusual cocktails. The attractive photographs really entice you to try making the drinks. The text is interesting, well-organized, personal, and informative. This would make a wonderful gift or hostess present.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on January 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Raising The Bar: Better Drinks Better Entertaining is far more than just another a cocktail book. Though it features 250 recipes and full-color photographs, Raising The Bar goes a step further and offers the tested secrets of a professional restaurant manager to serving cocktails for a crowd, planning a head, perfecting techniques for mixing a drink, tips, tricks, techniques, and more. Tasty original recipes include Frozen Prickly Pear Margarita, Strawberry Kiwi Sangria, and Watermelon Lemonade. A must-have for anyone seeking not only to hone their drink-mixing skills, but also improve their presentation, and flair to professional food service levels.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I picked up this fantastic book based on the overwhelmingly positive nature of the reviews posted and was not disappointed. It's not often that you find a bar guide that takes such care in pairing drinks with foods. On top of this Nick Mautone has taken incredible steps to make this book useful to the novice and experienced mixologist.

Even if you should find yourself disliking the majority of drinks included in "Raising the Bar" you will gain a deeper insight into the art of pairing food and drink for a truly divine dining experience. This is an art that is lost in many homes, and one that needs the kind of attention and care that has been offered in this handy hardcover tome.

While there are more advanced (but simple to prepare) drinks included in this book the overall message is one of the simplicity of enhancing any experience with food by including the proper spirits.

In addition "Raising the Bar" is well put together: it's a sturdy hardcover book with thick pages, lush photography and easy to read type. The ease of using this book makes it an essential companion to your family bar, kitchen, or bookshelf.
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