Book Review: Cocktail Chameleon

Book Review: Cocktail Chameleon

Mark Addison’s Cocktail Chameleon certainly spares no expense in its presentation. Clothbound, oversized, and filled with glossy pages and loads of full-color photos, it looks absolutely marvelous.

The concept of the book is to take 12 classic cocktails and provide 12 twists on each, for a total of 144 variations on a dozen themes. Take the Manhattan as an example. Spins on the whiskey-and-vermouth recipe include versions with apple brandy and maple syrup, vodka and limoncello, and even Cognac and Benedictine. Whether these are all in the Manhattan family is an exercise left for the reader, but I will say that the photography — all are pictured on a page of their own — makes every one look delightful.

What I don’t love about Cocktail Chameleon is its presentation. The book is divided into sections based on the original cocktail, then a few pages jam all the recipes together. Then the book presents 11 photos, one after another. If you see a picture of a drink you like, you’ll have to flip back to find the recipe for it, and vice versa. It’s a rather silly way to organize things when there’s plenty of room on the photo page to simply drop the recipe at the bottom of it (instead of some pithy quote about what the drink tastes like). There’s also no index to the book, which would help people searching for a drink by name or by ingredient.

At $44, Cocktail Chameleon is one of the pricier tomes you’ll find on the market, particularly given the relatively scant number of recipes within, though its production values are second to none. And who knows, you might even find a few drinks in here that really resonate with you and your guests.


Cocktail Chameleon




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.

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