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The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks with 150 Recipes Hardcover – Illustrated, September 5, 2017
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From the Publisher
Made with pisco, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white, this frothy spur off the sour family tree has roots in both America and Peru. The story goes that American-born Victor Morris moved to Peru in the early twentieth century to work on the railroads but ended up opening a bar instead. He supposedly fashioned an antecedent of what’s known as the Pisco Sour, bringing Peru’s local liquor to bear on a sour template.
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and dry shake. Add ice to the shaker and shake well. Strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass. Garnish with Angostura bitters.
Simple Syrup (Makes 1 ¼ cups)
1 Cup White, Cane Or Demerara Sugar.
1 Cup Water.
Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved and remove from the heat. Allow to cool to room temperature before transferring to a jar. Simple syrup will keep in the refrigerator for 1 month.
Pisco Sour Ingredients
- 2 Ounces Pisco
- 3⁄4 Ounce Lemon Juice
- 1⁄2 Ounce Simple Syrup (recipe below)
- 1⁄2 A Large Or 1 Small Egg White
- Garnish Angostura Bitters
About the Author
Megan Krigbaum is a wine and spirits writer, a contributing editor at PUNCH, and the former deputy wine editor at Food and Wine. There, she wrote a monthly wine column called "Bottle Service," in addition to regular feature stories pertaining to wine, spirits, and beer.
PUNCH is a James Beard Award–winning media brand dedicated to drinks and drinking culture.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Over the course of the past three hundred years of drinking history, since the first punch was made, a solid stable of classic cocktails has emerged. These tried-and-true recipes have endured for their distinctive personalities and winning flavors, but they’re also respected for having reliable templates. New York City bartender Sam Ross has said that “classics are the formulas of balance,” which is why many of the new drinks seen on bar menus these days have sprung from this old guard: their formulas work. And, thanks to an ever-growing contingent of devoted and creative bartenders, not to mention the outright explosion of craft spirits into the marketplace over the past fifteen years, it is now possible to get a well-made drink in just about any city in the country.
But among the plethora of wittily named drinks made with unlikely combinations of unheard-of ingredients and house-made syrups that has resulted from this renaissance, a conundrum has arisen: which of these drinks are worth keeping around? The best of these modern interpretations are thoughtful revisions of the classics that point to the creativity that can arise from knowing the standards backward and forward. The greatest bartenders will understand a cocktail’s personality, history, and intention—not to mention the ingredient ratio that informs it.
In these pages, you’ll find 150 recipes—the classics are all here, from the Gimlet to the Old-Fashioned, alongside the best examples of riffs on them, sourced from some of the greatest bartenders of our time. Though there are successful blueprints, you’ll notice through these variations that there are no hard-and-fast rules. The truth is, drinks are made to be tinkered with. At the most basic level, the classic recipes are composed of modular building blocks: spirit, perhaps citrus, a little sugar, a dash of bitters. All this means that a drink originally based in whiskey can be completely transformed when made with a core of applejack as long as the rest of the cocktail is appropriately adjusted to remain balanced.
What becomes apparent when looking at these originals and their descendants together are distinct branches of the cocktail family tree that give bartenders a solid jumping-off point for adding their own leaves. As you shake and stir your way through this book, getting the classics down and investigating this selection of outstanding modern updates, hopefully you’ll feel moved to improvise based on whatever is in your liquor cabinet. These pages will provide you with the tools—and the permission—to ruminate on the pleasures found in using pineapple rum instead of the usual white to make a daiquiri, tossing a few fresh raspberries into a bramble in the peak of summer, using expensive Japanese “whisky” in an old-fashioned, or even adding dry cider to your gin and tonic.
- Publisher : Ten Speed Press; Illustrated edition (September 5, 2017)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0399579311
- ISBN-13 : 978-0399579318
- Item Weight : 1.3 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.27 x 1.1 x 7.27 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #11,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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What I don't like:
1. The Modern recipes are almost impossible to recreate. They require so many obscure ingredients. It's a little ridiculous. I found maybe two drinks in the 100 pages that I thought to be reasonable, as in I could gather the ingredients and give it a try.
2. I wish it was organized by the main spirit in the drink. For example, all the bourbon drinks together, all the rum ones etc. So if I want a rum drink I have to look through the whole book for a rum drink that looks good. I guess I could use the index but still I think it would have been so much better if the drinks were organized by type of alcohol, not only "classic" - "modern" recipes.
Overall I do like this book a lot. We've tried a good amount of the classic recipes and we've found some new favorites that I had no idea existed. So I do recommend it. But it also leaves a little to be desired.