This book is not for professional mixologists, advanced hobbyists, or anyone having basic cocktail skills already under their belt. It’s not for anyone who attends Tales of the Cocktail or needs a trip to specialty markets to pick up some obscure ingredient. What this book does do is provide absolute beginners and novices an opportunity to start learning how to make basic cocktails. It’s nearly free of elaborate narrative and pretense, and strips away potential barriers to entry by teaching the fundamentals with uncommon clarity.
Most of the 150+ recipes clock in at five ingredients or less, and there are plenty of non-alcoholic or substitution suggestions for readers scaling back or refraining entirely from alcohol. There are a few scant recipes which would not be out of place on a menu at a medium-to-low tier casual family restaurant (Think Olive TGIFridayBees Roadhouse), like the “Beer Margarita” or the “Peanut Butter Whisky Milkshake.” But for every recipe invoking rage or nausea, there’s an essential Old Fashioned or Gin and Tonic recipe proving quite useful.
As a book offering a starting point with very little margin for error in the instructions/complexity department, it’s hard to go wrong with this book. Think of it as a solid basics manual and possibly a good holiday gift for the aspiring bartender in your home.
B+ / $25 / BUY IT NOW FROM AMAZON