Author and hospitality industry leader Tamika Hall partnered with Former Discovery Channel star and spirits expert Colin Asare-Appiah (The Cocktail Kings) for Black Mixcellence, a compendium of 70 recipes culled from Asare-Appiah’s own repertoire and contributions of African-American mixologists from across the nation.
The recipes are reasonably straightforward and easy to follow, with Asare-Appiah’s rum-based outstanding “Black Star” and “King James” recipes standing out from the pack. Also of noteworthy interest: Marlena “Miko” Richardson’s “Hot Stone Massage,” which requires cucumber puree and lychee syrup but is worth the time invested, and Miguel Soto Rincon’s “Caribbean Noir,” a lovely and rich blend of Maker’s Mark, rooibos tea, coffee and coconut Bitters, and Pedro Ximenez sherry. Every spirit is touched upon in one way or another, and the presentation is worthy of the content contained in its pages.
If there is one quarrel to be had with Black Mixcellence, it’s that the history section leaves one wanting for more. The lessons included are engaging and enjoyable and do a fine job honoring those who have been overlooked by many spirits historians. But it is thin at six pages in length. As someone who delights in getting lost in a well-researched history book, I had high hopes for a deep dive into the contributions, unsung heroes, and stories of African-Americans to spirits culture in America. It’s a good surface scratch, but here’s to hoping someone gleans inspiration from Hall and Asare-Appiah’s work and builds upon their foundations.
B+ / $30 / [BUY IT NOW FROM AMAZON]