Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Cocktail Books: The Topic


beans
 Share

Recommended Posts

Thought I'd report on the books I've ordered for behind the bar at Cook & Brown Public House:

Craft of the Cocktail, Dale DeGroff

Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, Ted Haigh

The Joy of Mixology, Gary Regan

Imbibe! David Wondrich

The Art of the Bar, Hollinger & Schwartz

I'm also thinking of getting the new Beachbum Berry revision, and if I could find a Savoy for less than $40, I'd snap it up. The library already contains Regan's Bartender's Bible, Trader Vic's book, and a couple of generics. One of the bartenders may also donate the new DeGroff book. When we've got a bit more room to play (just placed a massive booze order and got a bunch of stuff from Adam at Boston Shaker), I think I'll get a few classics from Mud Puddle as well.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

So I've now had cocktails from Todd Thrasher at Restaurant Eve in Washington DC, and I've had cocktails from The Varnish in Los Angeles, but what if I want to make similar quality cocktails at home? What's the best resource for this? All of the cocktail books I've flipped through in bookstores are of the "how to make a margarita" variety. In comparison to cookbooks, I'd say the cocktail books I've seen are the Rachel Ray of cocktail books. I'm looking for the Thomas Keller cocktail books, if you catch my meaning.

Any suggestions?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd suggest a look through this thread.

A few of the books I often turn to are Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails, Rogue Beta Cocktails and Imbibe.

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A few of the books I often turn to are Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails, Rogue Beta Cocktails and Imbibe.

Seconded, all of these. Also worth having are Dale DeGroff's two books, Jeff Berry's books on classic Tiki drinks, and Gary Regan's "The Joy of Mixology". (These might be more Julia Child than Thomas Keller, but they're certainly well beyond Rachael Ray, and well beyond most of what you'll find in a Barnes & Noble.) "Difford's Encyclopedia of Cocktails" might be worth a look as well.

John Rosevear

"Brown food tastes better." - Chris Schlesinger

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Essential Cocktail by Dale DeGroff is a very good starting point. I wouldn't jump right into something like Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails without exploring the less esoteric first.

"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure
Link to comment
Share on other sites

*Rumor*

Jim Meehan and his brother are working on a cocktail book.

Degroff, Regan, and Wondrich books have been my usually recipe sources for books, as well as "Mix Shake Stir" from the Danny Meyer Group. The Cyrus book is beautiful, but i'm not a fan of floaties in my cocktails,jusst my personal preference.

I've had some luck getting drink recipes from the bartenders, at some bars this is a real NO-NO. i have found a few recipes on the internet.

margaritas can be just as "Artisinal" as any other cocktail.

Edited by Steamtrain (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

what do people want to see in an advanced cocktail book?

i've been penning a book of theory that explains creative linkage (what goes with what) in culinary. all told through the cocktail... the idea is to teach the mechanics of the classics so one can build intuition when ones mixes whatever lies around.

when you look at the different ideas of creative linkage that drive the wines we exalt and the dishes we gush over, the same ideas also often take place in the cocktail, but are more portable. i'm trying to tackle more of the "why?" that was left out of the awesome book "culinary artistry" by using techniques from music and painting analysis.

the cocktail becomes one of the best places to learn about art in culinary in general.

for a thomas keller style book, would anyone mind seeing a recipe if it required a basket pressed-freeze concentrated syrup that has to end up at a precise gram measure of sugar to really execute a recipe? cocktail books seem to have some sort of accessibility requirement.

abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

for a thomas keller style book, would anyone mind seeing a recipe if it required a basket pressed-freeze concentrated syrup that has to end up at a precise gram measure of sugar to really execute a recipe? cocktail books seem to have some sort of accessibility requirement.

Not as long as the technique is clearly explained and equipment requirements aren't too elaborate. Complexity is fine if the results are sufficiently rewarding, but do keep in mind that much of your potential audience -- pro bartenders and home enthusiasts both -- will lack professional culinary training and access to elite restaurant kitchens.

John Rosevear

"Brown food tastes better." - Chris Schlesinger

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The books I seem to have open in front of me most often are (in alphabetical order):

The Craft of the Cocktail by Dale DeGroff

The Essential Bartender's Guide by Robert Hess

The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks by David Embury

The Official Mixer's Manual by Patrick Gavin Duffy

Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails by Ted Haigh (that was true even when there was only the nearly-impossible-to-hold-open-while-making-a-drink first edition!)

There are many others that I have high praise for, but these are the ones that see the most use.

Mike

"The mixing of whiskey, bitters, and sugar represents a turning point, as decisive for American drinking habits as the discovery of three-point perspective was for Renaissance painting." -- William Grimes

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

I use "Craft" occasionally, typically when a guest asks for a mainstream drink I don't often make -- his recipes for things like piña coladas are generally spot-on -- but I rarely pull the other book off the shelf. It's worth owning and reading at least once, though.

John Rosevear

"Brown food tastes better." - Chris Schlesinger

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't have either of the DeGroff books (I know--shame on me). Is "Essential Cocktails" basically an update of the "Craft of the Cocktail"? Or are both worth having?

They are entirely different books, though there is a small amount of overlap. "Essential" is a prettier book and has a bit more background material on the drinks, but fewer total entries. However, of the two, I'd say "Craft" is more useful overall.

Mike

"The mixing of whiskey, bitters, and sugar represents a turning point, as decisive for American drinking habits as the discovery of three-point perspective was for Renaissance painting." -- William Grimes

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting. I was going to suggest the opposite. I find Craft to be a "lite" version of Essential. Maybe it's just me, but Essential seems to be the full package with much more content (history and such). There may be fewer overall recipes but I don't think that's such a bad thing - if my memory serves me correctly, Craft has something like ten different Bloody Mary recipes.

Essential just feels more polished and up-to-date. The Craft of the Cocktail was written in 2002, versus 2008 for The Essential Cocktail. Considering how drastically cocktail culture has changed in that short span of time, I think Craft feels a little long in the tooth. Essential seems a little more classic. To me.

Pip Hanson | Marvel Bar

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You raise some good points, such as where recipes occur in both books, he's updated it a bit in the newer book, or added more information on its origins. This is particularly true of the tropical drinks. I guess it's just a case of YMMV. My comment was based on my own experience of turning to Craft a lot more than Essential. Many of the drinks in Essential seem unnecessarily complicated with the flavored foams and such. When I open a book to make a cocktail, it's because I want that cocktail today, preferably within the next few minutes.

Mike

"The mixing of whiskey, bitters, and sugar represents a turning point, as decisive for American drinking habits as the discovery of three-point perspective was for Renaissance painting." -- William Grimes

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Enh, yeah - there's one drink with a foam, and the recipe is provided. It is 2008. But then there are other drinks where he's actually improved the recipe this time around, either aesthetically or with regard to history. Take the Vesper - the gin/vodka in Craft is flipped, something he allows for and corrects in Essential. He's had some time to revise. And the recipes are on the left-hand page and the backstory on the right, so you can easily MTFD without steeping yourself in its beautiful history and heritage etc.etc.etc.

Pip Hanson | Marvel Bar

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 10 months later...

BTW, Jim Meehan of PDT and Joseph Schwartz of Little Branch, have collaborated on a Speakeasy Cocktails e-book available only on the iPad.

I've played with it a little and while the material probably seems a bit basic to us here, there's plenty of video demos, photo galleries, and original recipes (some from PDT). The focus is on technique, tools, and classic cocktails. The modern recipes are towards the back.

The official title is Speakeasy Cocktails: Learn from the Modern Mixologists. There's a video demo of the app here.

"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure
Link to comment
Share on other sites

BTW, Jim Meehan of PDT and Joseph Schwartz of Little Branch, have collaborated on a Speakeasy Cocktails e-book available only on the iPad.

I've played with it a little and while the material probably seems a bit basic to us here, there's plenty of video demos, photo galleries, and original recipes (some from PDT). The focus is on technique, tools, and classic cocktails. The modern recipes are towards the back.

The official title is Speakeasy Cocktails: Learn from the Modern Mixologists. There's a video demo of the app here.

Does this e-book have the recipe for PDT's Mariner cocktail? I'm specifically looking for how they make their cardamom syrup.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...