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Meehan's Bartender Manual Hardcover – October 17, 2017
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From the Publisher
Several recipes incorporating various proportions of dry gin, dry vermouth, and orange bitters appear around the turn of the century under many titles, making the Martini’s origin difficult to pin down. Frank Newman lists a 'Dry Martini' prepared with Martini dry vermouth in his 1904 French bar guide, American Bar, which leads me to believe the reputation of the vermouth brand had something to do with the name’s sticking.
Before the word cocktail became the umbrella term for mixed drinks a decade ago, Martini referred to a mixed drink served up in a V-shaped glass. Over the course of the last century, the recipe has vacillated between gin and vodka mixed with varying measures of dry vermouth, served with olives, a lemon twist, or both. The words 'wet' (perceptible vermouth) and 'dry' (little to no vermouth) refer to the amount of vermouth the guest would like in the drink, with 'dirty' called for if they’d like olive brine added. The Martini has been shaken, stirred, and poured undiluted from a freezer into a glass sprayed with vermouth by devotees of the drink over many generations, so there’s a wide range of options to consider.
Given free rein, focus on pairing a gin and vermouth with complementary botanicals, and dial back the vermouth in your vodka Martini so the mouthfeel of the base spirit is perceptible. Choosing the right proportions of gin and vermouth, incorporating enough dilution through stirring, and serving it at the proper temperature (arctic) all distinguish a great Martini from a merely good one.
Most people who order Martinis make them at home or know exactly how they’d like theirs prepared, so focus your creativity elsewhere. For a nice touch, serve the drink in a smaller glass, with the balance in an iced carafe on the side and a small plate for the olives.
Stir with ice, then strain into a chilled coupe. Twist a lemon peel over the surface and garnish with the olive.
- 2.25 oz. Fords gin
- 0.75 oz. Dolin dry vermouth
- Lemon peel
- Garnish: 1 olive
"Absolutely necessary for any spirits dork."
—Christine Muhlke, Bon Appetit
“There’s much more to being a good bartender than being able to quickly and efficiently make great cocktails. Yes, Meehan addresses cocktail recipes, what ingredients tools and techniques to deploy to make great drinks, but importantly this book is about much more than just mixing cocktails. Anyone who absorbs the pages on spirits will have more than passable knowledge of each of the spirit categories, and anyone who’s serious about bar management, or indeed any aspect of bar operations should read this book.”
—Simon Difford, Difford’s Guide
"One of the most recognizable names in the bar world brings you the ultimate cocktail guide, complete with recipes, origin stories and hacks—because not owning an esoteric bottle of bitters shouldn't hold you back from a good drink. There are also floor plans of bars around the world and deep-cut cocktail facts for those who want to geek out."
—Abby Reisner, Tasting Table
"For anyone obsessed with cocktails and their unique subculture, this book will be fascinating and essential, a heady tome that pores over the origins of whiskey and gin like a graduate school volume."
—Matthew Kang, Eater
"Jim Meehan was among the pioneers of the craft cocktail movement, opening PDT in Manhattan in 2007. “Meehan’s Bartender Manual” is exactly what the title promises: a manual for professional bartenders. But it will make a welcome addition to the library of any serious at-home drink maker."
—Wayne Curtis, The Wall Street Journal
“There are hundreds of bar books that focus on cocktail recipes or history, but few really explore the art and practicalities of bartending. Jim Meehan strives to write a modern handbook on par with the 1862 book, Jerry Thomas' Bartenders Guide. Meehan whips through cocktail history basics and features in-depth recipes for classic cocktails, but the best sections look at what it means to run a bar today. [..]Meehan’s book is designed for everyone from newcomers to the bar industry to seasoned bar owners who are always seeking new ways to improve their establishment.”
—Amy Cavanaugh, Plate
"When he opened New York’s PDT in 2007, Jim Meehan helped kick off the speakeasy trend, and in 2012, the bar scored the first James Beard Award for Outstanding Bar Program. Now Meehan has distilled his bar expertise into this combination recipe book and bar industry guide. "
—Jason Horn, The Daily Beast
"Jim Meehan’s 'Bartender Manual' a must-read for pros, home mixologists alike."
—Kenney Marlatt, Chicago Tribune
“Award-winning bartender Jim Meehan is one of a handful of drinks nerds who’s had a profound impact on the cocktail scene in America: the “modern speakeasy” he made his name at, PDT, is still a must-visit NYC bar ten years after opening thanks to its innovative and excellent drinks. Now, he’s taken a lifetime of knowledge and distilled it into a detailed bible of bartending that covers history, technique, tools and ingredients, plus 100 classic cocktail recipes and a sprinkling of invaluable insight from some of the world’s top bartenders.”
—Laura Sant, Departures
About the Author
JIM MEEHAN is a renowned bartender and author of The PDT Cocktail Book.He worked at some of New York City’s most revered restaurants and bars, includingGramercy Tavern and Pegu Club, before opening the James Beard Award–winningbar PDT in 2007. In addition to writing for Tasting Table, Lucky Peach, and SommelierJournal, Meehan served as an editor for Food & Wine magazine’s annual cocktailbook and Mr. Boston Official Bartender’s Guide. He and his family reside in Portland,Oregon, where he runs the consulting firm Mixography, Inc.
Top customer reviews
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-Cocktail History: Meehan condenses many worldwide threads of cocktails history (tiki, prohibition, punch, the dark ages aka 60s/70s, our newest revolution) and places them in a logical timeline that clearly makes sense in simple language. I have read many cocktail books explaining these eras separately, but for the first time Mehaan connects and integrates the whole story clearly, showing how our history molded the cocktail renessance we are in today.
-Commercial Bar Design: he examines every detail down to the minimum dimension of a bar stool chair cushion, to optimized well bottle organization, to lighting, floor plans, neighborhood selection, all with insights gleaming through from his many years building PDT and other world renown bars.
-Home Bar Design: this is the first book I have seen touch on Home bars, where many readers like myself spend the majority of our time crafting drinks.
-Tools and Techniques: while many other books have belabored these subjects to death, Meehan added fresh insight to these already well written about topics. It is written at the level both an expert and a novice can draw significant knowledge from.
-Production: Meehan takes liquor from the farm to distillation to bottling to table, unmasking a fascinating world only seen by the leaders in the field.
And of course as with every book, there is the ‘Spirits and Cocktails’ section. It’s divided by liquor class, each with a beautiful introduction on the birthplace, origin, history, and shaping of that class. Meehan focuses on only 100 cocktails (classics/vintage + some of his creations), allowing more depth by going through the “origin, logic, and hacks” for each drink. I love this organization. It’s a nice variation from so many prior cocktail books.
And past page 260 (I’m currently in his rum based section), I’ll leave to you so I don’t spoil it all. Enjoy as you dive into this great new book that will join in history as a defining book of our cocktail revolution.
+It’s bound in a beautiful green thick hardback cover that has both the beauty of a coffee table book to the durability of a barback book
+It has beautiful Pictures, Bar Layout Designs, Maps, and imagery making it pleasing to flip through.
The photography is stunning, the layout is very intuitive, and the physical binding and quality of printing are all top notch. Each recipe comes with a photograph, the history of the drink, and recommendations on quality of spirits/ingredients to use.
I will say, that if you're just looking for a straight recipe book or an introductory cocktail book to get your feet wet, this may be a bit intense. It really is aimed more towards folks who are already, or are interested in becoming, involved in the cocktail/hospitality industry, or cocktail enthusiasts who are in pretty deep. This is not a generalist manual as it goes into very detailed specifics and theory as well as philosophy of being in the service industry.
This is not a criticism at all and I think that this is one of Meehan's Bartender Manual's greatest strengths which makes it stand out from the crowd, but that said just be aware if that doesn't sound like something you're into. I'd absolutely recommend this book and am very pleased with this purchase. I already had high expectations when I pre-ordered this since PDT's cocktail book (also by Jim Meehan) was amazing, but this is a book with a different purpose that I think elevates even past it.
Most recent customer reviews
Not simply a drink cookbook, but a true manual, Meehan writes...Read more