- Spiral-bound: 224 pages
- Publisher: Mud Puddle Books, Inc. (September 15, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1603111506
- ISBN-13: 978-1603111508
- Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.9 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,659 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Essential Bartender's Guide Spiral-bound – September 15, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
One big bonus, the hardcover-over-spiral-binding lays flat on your counter while you read along and perfect your craft.
Overall, an excellent beginner's book for the basics, and some classic's like Trader Vic's original Mai Tai recipe from 1944 that I simply must procure the ingredients for that are sure to get some experienced pros away from the 'mixers' and back to making things right.
My only disappointment was that some of the recipes in the book do not match those in his Cocktail Spirit series (on the Small Screen Network) - for example, in the Aviation cocktail he gives the recipe sans the Creme de Violette, though he does mention this ingredient in the preface to the recipe. In his Cocktail Spirit show, he gives the recipe with Creme de Violette. I wish he had left it in the recipe in the book and mentioned that the common variant was to use all Maraschino because Creme de Violette was so hard to find until recently. To leave it out seems rather contrary to the spirit of the book.
Also, I understand the author not wanting to recommend a basic bar set-up, suggesting instead that readers acquire spirits, bitters, and liqueurs based on the cocktails they like or want to try. It still would have been helpful to suggest some reasonable bottom and mid-shelf brand choices for at least the base spirits and often used liqueurs in his recipes. Obviously not necessary, but it may be helpful to folks who haven't got a bar stocked yet. Yeah, so someone wants to try some gin cocktails but doesn't really know anything about gin...Read more ›
As other reviewers have said, this is not the book you want to pick up if you're looking to be able to make any drink in the world someone might ask for. However, in my opinion, that's what the internet is for- if you want a manageable collection of good, balanced cocktails that have stood the test of time, though, this is your book. I largely trust Hess's recipes, and as a bonus you can watch him prepare a number of them on his Small Screen Network videos.
Aside from, of course, the recipes, the book has a brief history of the cocktail, summary of drink types, overview of barware and tools, and introduction to the basic spirits, liqueurs and mixers. These sections offer very good general coverage of the subjects, and include some basic bartending tips (like using a boston shaker). I personally think these sections could be a bit more detailed, but I understand the constraints of page limits etc. This is controversial, but I wouldn't mind seeing a brief summary of recommended brands for starting out (which he does have on his site as well, and of course available brands change over time) or even better, a guide for picking out brands yourself. (For example- which type of rum one should buy as a beginner; brands of liqueurs that are of acceptable quality (since as we all know, many of the lower end ones are riddled with caramel colors, "natural" flavors and other additives)).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love this book. Great for any beginning or seasoned bartenderPublished 1 month ago by violent femmes
I am so glad I found this used, it seems to be out of print. Great book, highly recommended.Published 8 months ago by Jeffro the Pagan
Great recipes and some stories behind them from Robert Hess. One of my favorite cocktail books.Published 19 months ago by ClassicPost
This book has great recipes in a well planned format. It lies flat so it's great for a quick reference behind the bar.Published on June 30, 2014 by Jim vinson
Love the book, nice photos, recipes, and explanations
on history of cocktails. Bought because I love Robert
Hess's YouTube videos !
This book has a nice combination of history, current practices and recipes. There is no doubt that after reading it, you will have a better understanding of what makes a good... Read morePublished on April 14, 2014 by M. Johnston
The author's easy writing style makes the world of cocktails easily accessible to armchair cocktail enthusiasts. Read morePublished on March 10, 2014 by B. A. Toth