Robin's Reviews > Unvarnished: A Gimlet-eyed Look at Life Behind the Bar

Unvarnished by Eric Alperin
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it was amazing
bookshelves: kindle-drc, x2020-june, food-nonfiction, narrative-nonfiction, best-of-2020

I'm about the furthest from a barfly you'll ever meet, and couldn't tell you the ingredients of a martini or sidecar or gimlet to save my life, but I can tell you I enjoyed every minute of this book. In an engaging manner and with just a hint of self-admitted bad boy attitude, Eric Alperin tells his story about planning, developing, and running a trendy bar in mid-LA with behind-the-scenes information about everything that is needed to run a successful business. The attention-to-detail is mind-boggling, including an absolutely fascinating chapter on ice - yes, ICE! I had no idea there was so much to freezing water and the various ways to use it in making cocktails. It was a little jarring to have a huge section in the middle of the book dedicated to cocktail recipes but turns out I had no idea there were so many variations to one drink.

The publisher's comparison of Alperin's book being similar to Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly is spot on and I would also add Debra Ginsberg's Waiting: The True Confessions of a Waitress , Wenzel's Behind Bars: The Straight-Up Tales of a Big-City Bartender , or Marcus Samuellson's story of opening a restaurant, Yes, Chef .

Thanks to the publisher for the advance digital reading copy.
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Reading Progress

January 28, 2020 – Shelved
January 28, 2020 – Shelved as: to-read
January 28, 2020 – Shelved as: kindle-drc
January 28, 2020 – Shelved as: x2020-june
January 28, 2020 – Shelved as: food-nonfiction
March 18, 2020 – Started Reading
March 28, 2020 – Finished Reading
March 31, 2020 – Shelved as: narrative-nonfiction
January 9, 2023 – Shelved as: best-of-2020

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