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Killer Cocktails (Hands-Free Step-By-Step Guides) Spiral-bound – May 3, 2005

4.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Wondrich is one of the nation's foremost authorities on the history of the cocktail (okay, there's not a lot of competition, but still). A former English professor, he gave up Shakespeare and Freshman Comp to write for Esquire magazine (where he is a contributing editor) and numerous other publications, including Saveur, Gotham, Wine and Spirits, Drinks, and The Snail, the newsletter of Slow Food America. His first book, Esquire Drinks: An Opinionated & Irreverent Guide to Drinking, has been called "a must-have for anyone who enjoys a first-class cocktail" (The Dallas Morning News). Dr. Wondrich is a founding member of the Museum of the American Cocktail, which will open in New Orleans in January 2005. He lives in Brooklyn.

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Product Details

  • Series: Hands-Free Step-By-Step Guides
  • Spiral-bound: 128 pages
  • Publisher: HarperPB (May 3, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060740728
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060740726
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 6.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #237,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Spiral-bound
I found Killer Cocktails to be exceedingly helpful in developing my basic background of mixing drinks. Wondrich's ideas are presented in a witty, relaxed, and outside the box manner. He provides necessary information on not only the right way to mix great cocktails, but also the simple steps in setting up a home bar. Moreover, Killer Cocktails is set up as an easel format, so that it stands on its own while you are busy creating new and flavorful drinks. I actually found this to be an incredibly novel and useful way to thumb through the distinct recipes and tips.

I gave this to my father as an early Father's Day gift, and even he, who I thought to be more of a cocktail connoisseur, found the book to be extremely knowledgeable and fun. For every recipe that is given, there are also entertaining stories and trivia that are great to throw out at cocktail parties.

After following Wondrich's tips and guide, I'm definitely much more comfortable and excited to tend to the bar at my own parties. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to enhance his or her knowledge of creating and mixing cocktails, but doesn't want to spend the money or the time on a bartending class.
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Format: Spiral-bound
There is some great information in this book - it's well written and fun to read. I might make is much use of it as I do Ted Haigh's "Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails" or Dale Degroff's "The Craft of the Cocktail" or Gary Regan's "The Joy of Mixology", but I feel like throwing it away. Why? It is next to impossible to use.

Someone had the bright idea of making it spiral bound at the top. To read through it requires flipping one page at a time, and turning the book over. A cocktail picture will be on one page, the recipe on the reverse - to see the recipe, you have to flip the page over the top and turn the book around. Very annoying, as the pages want to go every which way, since the binding is at the top. There is a cover flap that extends below that gets in the way as you flip back and forth. It makes it very hard to use.

It really is a mess. Avoid the aggrevation, save your money, and buy one of the three mentioned previously. If you have them, you might consider it, as there is good stuff here. But be prepared for a struggle reading it. I finally removed the spiral binding, punched holes in the side, and put it in a small loose-leaf binder. Now I can relax while I prepare for the cocktail hour.
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Format: Spiral-bound
I really enjoyed Imbibe!: From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to "Professor" Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar Featuring the Origina, and had heard great things about Killer Cocktails, so I decided to give it a try. When I went to order, the only format available was this new flipbook style, which I had hoped would be useful for reference in the kitchen.

There are some great recipes, and I like the organizational themes (gin drinks, iced drinks, etc.). I do find the format to be frustrating, however. It's very clumsy to leaf through the recipes, since you have to keep turning from side to side and the pages don't flip all that easily. Part of the fun of cocktail guides is skimming through until something new catches your eye. The cover seems to get in the way when trying to stand it up easel style, as well (at least, I haven't uncovered the magic way to fold it back, but I have trouble refolding maps, so your mileage may vary!).

That said, I've used it frequently and really enjoyed many of the new drinks I've discovered or seen elsewhere but finally been inspired to make. My favorite at the moment is probably the Piscadora.
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Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
There is lots of good information in this book; but it is the most infuriating to use book that I can ever recall. I'm tempted to cut it apart and take it to Kinkos to have the put the pages into a spiral binder. If they ever reprint it I hope they do it as a conventional book with a conventional spine.
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