Bartending books come in two varieties: Mammoth reference tomes and slim, whimsical dispatches that are fit mainly for browsing. The Perfect Drink for Every Occasion (updated from its original 2003 edition) is squarely in the latter camp, though that’s not a slight: It’s actually a pretty fun little book that, if nothing else, can help break a stalemate when cocktail hour arrives and you don’t know what to make.
The conceit is that each recipe is keyed to an event – something major in life (getting married, getting divorced) or minor (leap year, being in Philadelphia). Some of the drinks are fanciful (5 oz. of absinthe on the rocks) and some are serious (Clover Club). Some are classics and some are newer inventions. Highballs, shots, and even pints of beer are represented here.
151 drinks in total fill the 239 pages of the book, which makes it easy to flip through but hard to actually read. That said, I found it mostly fun, and, more importantly, with a good selection of stuff I’d actually want to drink. The few typos concern me a bit – a saketini should not have 2 ounces of sake and 5 ounces of vodka in it – but hopefully the reader will figure out the proportions before he has to be scraped up off the floor. (Although there’s a drink for that.)
All in all, this book feels like a great gift to give as a stocking stuffer or to, say, someone who’s about to become a dad. And yes, there’s a drink for that, too.
B / $10 / [BUY IT HERE]