Oct 14, 07
Read in December, 2005
A good beginners' guide to cocktails and the mixing thereof. Its organization is based on the chief ingredient of each cocktail; so there's a section that focuses on gin, a vodka section, etc. -- there's even a "virgin" section. It covers some of the basic techniques (e.g., muddling), terms (e.g., rocks vs. neat vs. straight), and ingredients (e.g., simple syrup) and how they tie in with the various recipes. It works well for folks that have not necessarily developed their particular palates in this area or are looking to explore a little bit within their chosen poison (i.e., "I've enjoyed gin gimlets, what else in the gin family would I like?") That said, you'll likely exhaust your options pretty quickly (it's not a comprehensive book). The major criticism I have is that many of the recipes call for relatively esoteric ingredients -- half of the vodka recipes call for particular flavored vodkas (for example) and many other recipes call for hard-to-find liquers -- meaning that what should be a relatively inexpensive exploration of gustatory delights can turn into a major hit on your pocketbook from just one round of drinks calling for créme de cassis.