Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Ten Speed Press; 53554th edition (October 12, 2010)
Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.7 x 9.3 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #44,699 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #26 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Cooking Methods > Gourmet #41 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Beverages & Wine > Cocktails & Mixed Drinks #70 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Beverages & Wine > Wine & Spirits > Spirits
"Speakeasy" comes to us at the height of the cocktail revival from people who believe they were largely responsible for that revival. According to the book's authors, the bartenders at Employees Only (a New York watering hole that seeks to recreate the atmosphere of Smart Drinking), America has entered the Platinum Age of the cocktail. Thanks in large part to their efforts and wisdom, Americans are re-learning how to drink and what makes a great cocktail.This book is the product of much of their hard-won wisdom. On the good side, the book is a reasonably extensive how-to list for making dozens of different cocktails. Each cocktail receives its own write-up on a single page that has plenty of room for margin notes and recipe tweaks - and to their credit the authors encourage the reader to experiment. The authors know that while there are certain mechanics and rules to making good cocktails, mixing a good drink is an art that takes on the personality of the creator. And so we are encouraged to create variations off of these recipes.Also on the good side - the book contains instructions for how to make your own mixes at home rather than buying the off-the-shelf stuff at the liquor store. This is a sterling addition to the book. Consider - if you're having a Mexican feast over at a friend's house, would you prefer it is he or she made his or own picante sauce or if instead you were handed a bottle of Pace? The same should hold true for such things as simple syrup, grenadine, and the like. True - if you take this book too seriously you're going to be spending an awful lot of time preparing your libations, but such is the price to pay for quality.The book also provides some lessons on the bartending craft.
(NOTE: This review pertains to a softcover advance copy of the book, and not the final text)Perfect for budding amateur bartenders, "Speakeasy: The Employees Only Guide to Classic Cocktails Reimagined" is a quality cocktail recipe book that (mostly) hits all the right notes, with a few caveats.Within the book, you will find a classy, smart selection of alcoholic drink recipes that you may or may not be familiar with (e.g. Manhattans, cosmopolitans, sangrias, sidecars, whiskey sours, punches, gimlets, spritzes, Bloody Marys, etc.). Besides classic cocktails, there are recipes for aperitifs, long drinks, pick-me-ups, cordials, infusions, sangrias, punches, homemade syrups and other drink accompaniments.Most of the timeless drinks included in this book (more than eighty of them) have been reworked with a modern spin, and mostly to good effect. The reworkings are generally respectful and smart, as they honor and (usually) enhance the included classic drink recipes, rather than distort them.The prose of the book is simple, eloquent and lovingly written (admittedly, I did find the writing to be a bit pretentious at times, but endearingly so). There are lots of intriguing historical tidbits peppered throughout the book; in fact, every recipe in the book is accompanied by a passage that includes background info and other helpful descriptive notes specific to each drink. There is also an informative section in the book that gives helpful preparation tips on how to create the "perfect" cocktail, including general mixing techniques and proper choice of tools.There are plenty of illustrations and photos contained within the book, always a plus with recipe books of any kind.
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