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Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails: From the Alamagoozlum to the Zombie 100 Rediscovered Recipes and the Stories Behind Them Spiral-bound – October 1, 2009
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We recently got into making cocktails after renovating the family room, which has a built-in bar from the 60s. After a year of stocking it and making a lot of standard, popular drinks and trying recipes we found online, we started exploring with bitters and aperitifs and some of the less common spirits.
That's why this book was a lot of fun for us. There are classic, original recipes for some of the more common drinks we'd already been making, and it was fun comparing them. And there are a lot of unusual drinks we've never heard of. Plus all of the interesting historical backgrounds.
What we did was go through page by page, find something interesting that we have ingredients for, read about it and make it and taste. Then on to the next page! It'll take some time to go through it all (I hope) but it's entertaining.
As for the ingredients, many cocktails can be made with basic bar liquors (make sure you have some bitters and both dry & sweet vermouth, at least). I'd say that if your bar is stocked with the basics, all you'll want to do is flip through for a few of the unusual things you don't already have so you can try something new. And then have some fun!
I did see that this book is available on the Kindle. I own a regular Kindle, as does my Dad, and I am glad I bought the physical version of this book. It is spiral bound (which is nice since it is ostensibly a recipe book), and the pictures and pages are full color and glossy. I imagine this would be OK on a Kindle Fire (or other color e-book), but I think something would be lost if I were reading this on the regular black-and-white Kindle.
This is not a basic or starter bartending guide. There's a final chapter with a fine collection of basic recipes, so the book doesn't leave you high and dry, but I'd still consider it an additional guide after owning a basic bartending book. That being said, I would make this and "Beach Bum Berry Remixed" the second and third additions to your library.
I was given this book as a gift a few years ago, and I now give it as a gift whenever I can. In my circle of friends, it's known as "The Good Book", for good reason.