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The Bar Book: Elements of Cocktail Technique Hardcover – June 3, 2014
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Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
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"...my favorite drinks book of the year is The Bar Book: Elements of Cocktail Technique. Mr. Morgenthaler, a well-regarded Portland, Ore.-based bartender and blogger, notes that a great cocktail requires a combination of three elements: recipe, ingredient and technique. He admits that the first two have been well-plumbed in existing books, then lasers in on the third. Just learning how to make his ingenious but simple "MacGyver Centrifuge" with cheesecloth and a salad spinner to filter fruit juices is nearly worth the cover price." - Wayne Curtis, The Wall Street Journal
"An accessible but sophisticated primer that could render the rest of the cocktail library obsolete." - Library Journal
About the Author
Martha Holmberg is the author of Modern Sauces and Crêpes.
Top Customer Reviews
I've trained about 60,000 bartenders in 60-odd (sometimes very odd) countries in the last 15 years. I've founded Europe's largest bar school as well as an award-winning craft cocktail bar, and if I could go back in time I would give Jeffrey's book to each and every student I've ever had. As it is, I will give it to every student I have from now on.
Jeffrey's research, insight and experience have resulted in a book that will shave years off the time needed to master drink making, leaving more time for professionals to concentrate on creativity and hospitality, and for interested Cocktailians** to concentrate on seducing your neighbours' wives (and husbands) at the excellent cocktail parties you will henceforth be able to effortlessly throw.
This is where you click "buy now". Now!
* Disclosure: Jeffrey is a friend and contemporary of mine, but such a cheap, thoughtless bastard that not only did he not think to offer me a financial inducement in return for a positive review, I even had to buy my own copy of this annoyingly excellent book.
** Cocktailian = cocktail equivalent of a foodie.
This book truly delivers. It is beautiful with magnificent photos, it's the right size to sit on a bar shelf and, most importantly, it really gets down to the details of technique. A good example is the chapter on shaking...
About a week ago (before buying this book) I cracked the glass part of my Boston Shaker when trying to release it. It made me realize that I really had no idea how to deal with shaking a cocktail in general. Then along comes Morgenthaler's chapter on shaking. He starts by listing (in detail) the different shakers and how they can be used. He describes (in detail) the brands and qualities of the various shakers and what characteristics you should look for in each type (heavy gauge vs. light gauge steel for example). He then continues with how to grip the Boston Shaker (in detail - are you seeing a pattern yet?) and even how to practice shaking (he has his trainees use rice in the shaker).
In short, this is EXACTLY the sort of information I had been looking for. The book is all about the technique that creates a truly wonderful cocktail. Yes, it includes some great recipes (more can be found on the author's blog) and, yes, it has great pictures and the explanations are well written.Read more ›
The three elements of cocktails are recipes, ingredients, and technique. This book is entirely about technique: making your drinks look better and taste better, and developing your flair for showmanship behind the bar. Not the Tom Cruise bottle-flipping, poetry-spouting kind of showmanship, but the proper ways of stirring, shaking, zesting, and juicing; of making, storing, and handling ice; making syrups and infusions, arranging garnishes. As you can imagine, this is a pretty daunting course of study, and I haven't even mentioned the section on measurements: speed pouring, free pouring, batching drinks for multiple guests, and -- gasp -- blind pouring exact measures.
Morgenthaler is such a lively, engaging writer that he makes this technical manual interesting even to casual cocktail enthusiasts; if you're planning on mixing drinks for a living, this book just became part of the syllabus.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
By far my most used cocktail book at home. An excellent resource covering techniques, recipes, history, advice, even best practices in running a bar.Published 19 days ago by Kevin S. Coleman
Bartending tricks explained in a simple language: from making your own syrups to complex cocktails that involve putting alcohol on fire. Read morePublished 28 days ago by Zakhar Shapurau
So far every drink from the book as been great. I'm giving it four stars because it's not an exhaustive compilation of drinks. Read morePublished 1 month ago by H2Oh
This is probably the best book in my rather extensive cocktail book collection.Published 2 months ago by Justin Crisler
Awesome book and will help me hone my techniques down the road! A must have for bartenders that want to perfect their techniques behind the bar.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book is unlike any other bar book I own. Talk about going into really great detail on things we take for granted (e.g. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Anthony Snyder
If you have to buy only one such book (concerning bar stuff and drinks making) in your life, this is It. Period. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Ivan Popov