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The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks with 150 Recipes Hardcover – Illustrated, September 5, 2017

4.8 out of 5 stars 569 ratings

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews

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.

INTRODUCTION 

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.

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Product details

  • 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
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 569 ratings

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5
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NYRangers
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Essential Cocktail Book
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