Customer Reviews: World's Best Cocktails: 500 Signature Drinks from the World's Best Bars and Bartenders
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on February 22, 2013
Author Tom Sandham, the dust jacket informs us, "has travelled widely in search of the perfect mixed drink, the best bar, and the most innovative bartender," and this book -- three hundred oversized, full-color pages of thirst-inducing booze porn -- is lifestyle journalism at its most ostentatious. It will intrigue and excite you. It will stay on your coffee table, because very little of the content will help you to mix better drinks.

Sandham's foremost concern here is the cool, the chic, the visually appealing. The drinks are photographed exquisitely; the bar interiors gleam; the celebrity bartenders make the most of what nature gave them. The drinks are a celebration of name brand spirits, exotic ingredients (umeshu liqueur, anyone?), and the genuinely unexpected. The book's five hundred or so "couture and vintage" cocktails include twenty-two absinthe cocktails, thirty with Scotch, four with cachaça, and three with pisco. Not a sign of such humble, popular drinks as the kamikaze, the gin & tonic, and the whiskey sour -- or the very non-humble Waldorf, for that matter -- but who needs 'em with such trendy cocktails as the Porn Star Martini (terrific name, horrific ingredients)?

It's too bad that no one told the book's designer and photographer, Jacqui Small, that small print text against color backgrounds is hard to read, but I'm fond of the "Cocktail Essentials" section at the end of the book, especially its nice, clear, illustrated list of techniques: stirring, layering, swizzling, floating, and throwing (if you're feeling all adventurous and show-offy while you're mixing).

This is a fun but flashy coffee table book -- or better yet, a hardcover lifestyle magazine -- for amateur bartenders ready to explore their drink options beyond martinis and Manhattans, although there are extensive spreads on both cocktails. It's a good gift, but not a book I'd need to hold onto very long.
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on August 2, 2013
I own a lot of cocktail books. Some may go far as to suggest I'm a cocktail book addict. Most cocktail books will have a few pretty pictures of a couple unique cocktails and will fill out the rest of the book with varying recipes on how to make a Cosmopolitan, etc. There are only so many books that you can have that tell you how to make the same exact drinks before you get tired of them. This book is a fresh new look at cocktails, with each of its 500 recipes being unique, and most importantly, well-crafted. If you mix your cocktails with no-name liquor out of big plastic jugs, this isn't the book for you, as you're best off just mixing that swill with a coke. This book is for cocktail aficionados who view cocktail making as a gourmet art form. These cocktails are the souffles of the mixology world. If you hunt through the liquor store for the best ingredients, the most unique quality offerings available, then you will love this book. You will drink better, and your friends will promote you to social event bartender (for better or worse).
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on February 8, 2014
This book is great on the history of the different kinds of liquors and spirits. Tells about old style drinks along with the newest in drinks. It's just not the kind of book I was looking for. You would need a bar stocked with a lot of top shelf liquors and spirits to make this drinks, long with a lot of other stuff. Just wasn't the book for me.
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on December 26, 2013
Pictures of every drink make you thirsty just glancing through book
Organization make drinks easy to find by style (i.e., "classic gin drinks" | "modern gin drinks" | "tiki drinks" | "martinis")
Great reference for the frequent traveller in search of great cocktails, especially if one is headed to NY, SF, London, or Paris

Light on details/professional craftsmanship tips that separate the amateur from the seasoned bartender (i.e., this book neglects to recommend that egg drinks be dry-shaken before shaking with ice)

Overall, this is a very nice book that I would recommend to anyone interested in learning more about cocktails. This book provides a very useful overview of cocktails generally, and both classic and modern styles of drinks are included. This book is quite accessible to beginners, but is also useful for professionals. Of my books on cocktails, I reference this and the PDT book most often.
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on January 3, 2014
I originally bought the book for my brother, but my nephew quickly scoffed it up. I will more than likely be buying additional copies not only to replace my brother's gift but also one for myself. A lot of great reading and information. Great coffee table book. I am sure no one would be disappointed with this selecton.
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on March 9, 2015
I gave this to my sister for Christmas per her request. I went ahead and looked though it. I love that there are pictures for every drink. I also love that it reminds me of prohibition drinks.
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on July 30, 2013
This book is one of the best in our large library of cocktail books. It has great reference material, and the cocktails are varied, interesting and very tasty!
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on March 24, 2015
Very nice book. Gave it to a friend of mine, who is a bartender.
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on January 27, 2015
Wonderful sources of knowledge on cocktails!
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on November 19, 2014
The packaging was so tight that it was difficult to get the book out. The spine and corners were damaged because of this making the book look used. It was however, so cheap that it is not worth going through the hassle to send it back. It was purchased for a gift but is not in gift-able condition.
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