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Speakeasy: The Employees Only Guide to Classic Cocktails Reimagined Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 88 customer reviews

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Length: 178 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Fall into Cooking Featured Recipe from Speakeasy by Jason Kosmas and Dushan Zaric: Mata Hari

The Mata Hari best exemplifies the creative process utilized at Employees Only of taking classic ideas and modernizing them through an expression of big flavors and culinary technique. Inspired by the luscious brandy classic Sidecar, the Mata Hari blends Cognac with chai-infused sweet vermouth and fresh pomegranate juice to introduce soft tannins and exotic spice. Rose hips adorn this cocktail which awaken the olfactory senses, alluding to what comes next. Stunning to look at, seductive on the nose, and vibrant on the pallet, the Mata Hari is one of the first and most popular cocktails at Employees Only. --Jason Kosmas and Dushan Zaric

Makes one drink

Ingredients

1¼ ounces Louis Royer Force 53 VSOP cognac
1 ounce Chai-Infused Sweet Vermouth
¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
¾ ounce pomegranate juice
½ ounce simple syrup
3 dried organic rose buds, for garnish

Pour the cognac, vermouth, juices, and syrup into a mixing glass. Add large cold ice cubes and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with rose buds.

Dominant flavors: deep red pomegranates with roses on the nose
Body: rich, full mouthfeel
Dryness: medium
Complexity: high

Accentuating or contrasting flavors: chai, cinnamon, and clove interweave
Finish: lingering, black tea, spicy



From Publishers Weekly

Kosmas and Zaric (You Didn't Hear It from Us), owners of Employees Only, a not-so-hidden take on a Manhattan speakeasy, offer instruction on recreating classic drinks and stirring up some modern variations. Fresh ingredients are their mainstay, but since the focus is on old-school cocktails, fewer intense flavor combinations arise than what might be found in a more contemporary collection of artisanal concoctions. Not that there's anything wrong with that. It's curious, for instance, to learn that the Manhattan, circa 1882, contained more vermouth than it did rye, while its modern version calls for a bourbon to vermouth ratio of 2 to 1. Among the 90 offerings, there are some that one would proudly order across a crowded bar, such as the New York Sour with its shakeup of 101-proof rye, lemon juice, and dry red wine. Others would best be acquired on the down low, like the Monkey Gland, a cocktail of absinthe, gin, orange juice, and Grenadine. There is also the Amelia, a sequel to the Cosmopolitan, starring blackberry puree and elderflower liqueur. For the more literary minded, there is the Hemingway daiquiri, a supposed favorite of Papa's, wherein grapefruit juice finds harmony with rum and maraschino liqueur. (Oct.) (c)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2002 KB
  • Print Length: 178 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (October 12, 2010)
  • Publication Date: October 12, 2010
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0045EOIVE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #240,242 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"Speakeasy" comes to us at the height of the cocktail revival from people who believe they were largely responsible for that revival. According to the book's authors, the bartenders at Employees Only (a New York watering hole that seeks to recreate the atmosphere of Smart Drinking), America has entered the Platinum Age of the cocktail. Thanks in large part to their efforts and wisdom, Americans are re-learning how to drink and what makes a great cocktail.

This book is the product of much of their hard-won wisdom. On the good side, the book is a reasonably extensive how-to list for making dozens of different cocktails. Each cocktail receives its own write-up on a single page that has plenty of room for margin notes and recipe tweaks - and to their credit the authors encourage the reader to experiment. The authors know that while there are certain mechanics and rules to making good cocktails, mixing a good drink is an art that takes on the personality of the creator. And so we are encouraged to create variations off of these recipes.

Also on the good side - the book contains instructions for how to make your own mixes at home rather than buying the off-the-shelf stuff at the liquor store. This is a sterling addition to the book. Consider - if you're having a Mexican feast over at a friend's house, would you prefer it is he or she made his or own picante sauce or if instead you were handed a bottle of Pace? The same should hold true for such things as simple syrup, grenadine, and the like. True - if you take this book too seriously you're going to be spending an awful lot of time preparing your libations, but such is the price to pay for quality.

The book also provides some lessons on the bartending craft.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
(NOTE: This review pertains to a softcover advance copy of the book, and not the final text)

Perfect for budding amateur bartenders, "Speakeasy: The Employees Only Guide to Classic Cocktails Reimagined" is a quality cocktail recipe book that (mostly) hits all the right notes, with a few caveats.

Within the book, you will find a classy, smart selection of alcoholic drink recipes that you may or may not be familiar with (e.g. Manhattans, cosmopolitans, sangrias, sidecars, whiskey sours, punches, gimlets, spritzes, Bloody Marys, etc.). Besides classic cocktails, there are recipes for aperitifs, long drinks, pick-me-ups, cordials, infusions, sangrias, punches, homemade syrups and other drink accompaniments.

Most of the timeless drinks included in this book (more than eighty of them) have been reworked with a modern spin, and mostly to good effect. The reworkings are generally respectful and smart, as they honor and (usually) enhance the included classic drink recipes, rather than distort them.

The prose of the book is simple, eloquent and lovingly written (admittedly, I did find the writing to be a bit pretentious at times, but endearingly so). There are lots of intriguing historical tidbits peppered throughout the book; in fact, every recipe in the book is accompanied by a passage that includes background info and other helpful descriptive notes specific to each drink. There is also an informative section in the book that gives helpful preparation tips on how to create the "perfect" cocktail, including general mixing techniques and proper choice of tools.

There are plenty of illustrations and photos contained within the book, always a plus with recipe books of any kind.
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2 Comments 15 of 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I love to drink, some might say it is my hobby. I have a walk in closet in my family room that only has liquor with at least 75 bottles in it. I own muddlers, shakers, jiggers, strainers, make ice with distelled water in special ice trays. I have a beer fridge and a wine fridge, a margarita machine and blenders and an entire shelf of a book case with books on drink receipes. With that being said the Speakeasy was past my comfort level both in ingredients and the average cost of making a drink.

Old school cocktails are very much in vogue right now and I enjoy them very much. However, my local liquor store was missing several of the key ingredients for the cocktails that I wanted to try out. I would take a guess that the average consumer would have not have many of the key ingredients in stock. With that being said the drinks are creative and the few I tried were very tasty. As for as drink books go this one was very detailed and had nice pictures and the overall quality was much higher than I would have expected. My disappointment was that the ingredients were not easily available.

If you are the type of person who reads Gourment Magazine than you will love the book, however if you are the kind of person who gets their ideas from Rachel Ray magazine the Speakeasy may be out of your comfort level.
3 Comments 50 of 59 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Employees Only is one of those serious cocktail bars in NYC, where over the past decade, they have elevated cocktails into a higher art. Attention is paid to every detail of a drink's composition, from the specifics of a liquor, the bitters, the garnish, the ice and of course, the mixing itself. Despite the high level of execution, this books makes many of the drinks accessible to the home cocktail maker. Even if you're not willing to make homemade ginger beer for the Presbyterian, most of the drinks can be made readily if you have some fresh fruits, good quality booze and fresh ice.

The drink recipes in this book runs the gamut, from aperitifs (negroni, elderflower spritz) to long drinks and fancy cocktails (cosmopolitan, aviation, fraise sauvage). Some recipes even have seasonal variations, such as the summer (with pineapple) and fall (with pears) versions of a ginger smash. As expected for a book of this caliber, there are recipes for making syrups, grenadine, infusions and cordials from scratch. For each drink, I really liked that there is a sensory description included (dominant flavors, body, dryness, complexity, accentuating or contrasting flavors, and finish).

One thing that I found odd about some recipes is that they are called "classic", eventhough they are clearly the authors' variation on a classic recipe. For instance, the Classic Millionaire Cocktail includes lemon juice, and the Classic Sazerac is made with Rittenhouse rye and Angostura bitters. Nonetheless, these variations ultimately make for a better drink.
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