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The Craft of the Cocktail: Everything You Need to Know to Be a Master Bartender, with 500 Recipes Hardcover – October 15, 2002
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The cocktail goes in and out of fashion, and home bartenders need to replace their mixology recipes regularly to account for newly invented cocktails and rediscovered old ones. The Craft of the Cocktail, by Dale DeGroff, surpasses ordinary bar guides by not only providing directions for nearly every imaginable mixed drink but also serving as a trove of cocktail lore. After presenting a brief history of the bartender's art, DeGroff gives a history of each of the major liquors. He discusses drink-mixing techniques, including a thoughtful, dispassionate resolution of bartending's enduring dispute: shaking versus stirring. The inventory of mixed drinks is suitably comprehensive, and a concluding glossary aids readers with definitions of otherwise unfamiliar terminology. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
From the Inside Flap
Cocktails are bigger than ever, and this is the first real cookbook for them, covering the entire breadth of this rich subject. The Craft of the Cocktail provides much more than merely the same old recipes: it delves into history, personalities, and anecdotes; it shows you how to set up a bar, master important techniques, and use tools correctly; and it delivers unique concoctions, many featuring Dale DeGroff's signature use of fresh juices, as well as all the classics.
Debonair, a great raconteur, and an unparalleled authority, Dale DeGroff is the epitome of Perfect Bartender, universally acknowledged as the world's premier mixologist. From Entertainment Weekly and USA Today to the Culinary Institute of America and the nation's best restaurants, whenever anybody wants information or training on the bar, they turn to Dale for recipes, for history, for anecdotes, for fun--for cocktail-party conversation as well as for cocktails.
That's what The Craft of the Cocktail is--the full party, conversation and all. It begins with the history of spirits, how they're made (but without too much boring science), the development of the mixed drink, and the culture it created, all drawn from Dale's vast library of vintage cocktail books. Then on to stocking the essential bar, choosing the right tools and ingredients, mastering key techniques--hints worthy of a pro, the same information that Dale shares with the bartenders he trains in seminars and through his videos. And then the meat of the matter: 500 recipes, including everything from tried-and-true classics to of-the-moment originals. Throughout are rich stories, vintage recipes, fast facts, and other entertaining asides. Beautiful colorphotographs and a striking design round out the cookbook approach to this subject, highlighting the difference between an under-the-bar handbook and a stylish, full-blown treatment. The Craft of the Cocktail is that treatment, destined to become the bible of the bar.
Top customer reviews
Other books that I can recommend from my current library are "Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails" by Ted Haigh and "The Bartender's Black Book" by Stephen Kittredge Cunningham.
The one downside is the index is not good enough in my opinion. There isn't a way of looking up drinks by ingredient. I love this book so much though, I'm creating my own ingredient index, and may make it public someday. There aren't a ton of pictures, but there are lots of great drinks.
If you like cream based drinks or liquers (like Kahlua) try the Island Rose. His version of the frozen Daiquiri, Margarita and Cosmopolitan are top notch- the best out of the books I have. I enjoy my other books too, but given only one book, my choice would be easy. He also gives the history of various liquors and drinks and includes a number of drinks from nearly a century ago. There's a reason Dale is called the King of Cocktails, and this book does a good job sharing his expertise.
having the knowledge in This book will give a bartender confidence when speaking to their customers no matter what. Humans have a very accurate sense when someone speaks with confidence regardless of the topic. Even if you do not spout the knowledge with words you will have a certainty about you when speaking to your customers about drinks.
This is really a cookbook/recipe book that makes the drinks very enticing and compelling and as a result I've added more than a dozen bottles to my liquor collection since purchasing it. One thing worth mentioning is that, compared to other cocktail books I've read, even though most of the drinks are well enough it appears that author has personalized and improved on quite a few of them by adding his own touch or variation. For example, there's a drink called "Between the sheets" that's usually made with two base liquors: brandy & rum. Dale DeGroff's recipe contains Brandy & Benedictine as the base liquors - a wonderful combination which makes for a more interesting cocktail.
Another example of these variations is mixing Rye & Brandy for a Sazerac instead of just sticking to Rye. There are many, many other improvements and innovations.
I would have loved to give it 5 stars but the only thing that held me back is the structure and organization of the book: it's more or less alphabetical and that often makes it difficult to find related recipes or recipes based on the ingredients or the style of the drink.