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The Complete Cocktail Manual: 285 Tips, Tricks, and Recipes Hardcover – October 18, 2016
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"In Bustamante’s first book, a rapid-fire primer to classic cocktails and techniques, he offers up hundreds of tips, like how to efficiently stock your home bar with booze and tools, and almost as many recipes. All of which will help give your home bartending game a handy boost." (San Francisco Chronicle)
"At first, leafing through The Complete Cocktail Manual: 285 Tips, Tricks & Recipes, a new book by San Francisco cocktail and spirits writer Lou Bustamante, it’s a little disorienting to realize that there are no page numbers. Instead, the book—the only one written in conjunction with the United States Bartenders' Guild—is an amalgam of facts, recipes and techniques, apportioned into easy-to-read chunks. Each of these nuggets is numbered, whether that means one or several per page (285 in all, as the subtitle says)." (Liquor.com)
About the Author
Lou Bustamante is a bar, spirits, and cocktail writer who has done everything from recipe and product development and distillery work to bartending and teaching cocktail classes. He covers the local and national spirits scene for the San Francisco Chronicle, The Bold Italic, 7x7, Wine & Spirits Weekly, and many others.
While the bar industry has exploded over the last 60 years, the USBG has supported individual bartenders. After putting down California roots in 1948, we incorporated as a nonprofit (50 years strong!) and are now active in over 50 cities nationwide. USBG members don't follow trends-- we set them, and passionately advocate for bartenders nationwide to do the same.
Top customer reviews
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This is an excellent book that I expect to keep for the long term.
While it is not exhaustive, and focuses mainly on drinks that are popular in the present, it's hard to think of a better starting point for anyone looking for ideas, or just needing a reminder of the standard proportions for a given drink, and indications of related cocktails. The arrangement into a few hundred numbered sections, with the numbers conveniently set in large type, a full index, and reference charts peppered throughout, is a stroke of genius. Perhaps this was Lou's idea, or his publisher, but it is a format worth emulating. As an example, I was about to mix an Old Fashioned but was questioning my instinct to add some lemon juice. I opened to the back, about to thumb into the index, and there on the inside flap is a bunch of "random" information including an Old Fashioned recipe. Shocked at how the book had read my mind, I considered the rest of the back flap. Someone thought to put the most likely things people might be looking up right there.
Another thing that threw me off is that the book is attractively arranged with a lot of staged color pictures, which typically suggests a dearth of real content. Not to worry! Every section has short but fun historical context that blends into mixing instructions, and the pictures are almost all directly connected with recipes and serve as presentation suggestions. Leave this out where your guests can thumb through it, as long as you can trust them not to walk off with it.
Lastly, Lou's advice on entertaining is spot on. I wish I had read this years earlier, as it would have saved me a fair bit of stress.