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Posts Tagged ‘Jeffrey Morgenthaler’

Time flies when you’re having cocktails!  Now that spring is here, GSN has some recommendations for reading, learning and crafting spirited libations for the season.  Cheers!

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The Cocktail Guy: Infusions, Distillations and Innovative Combinations by Rich Woods Pavilion (April 1, 2018) At the forefront of the mixology revolution, Rich has been garnering fans and accolades through his creative re-inventions of classic cocktails and exciting new drinks, all served with his signature innovative flair. In this, his first book, Rich unlocks the secrets of making creative cocktails at home, from mastering classic techniques, to flavoring alcohol through simple infusions and more complex distillations and making your own home-made bitters from herbs, spices, fruits, and roots. At the center of Rich’s creative process is an understanding and exploration of flavor; from the way it unravels on the palate to new and unique combinations that are designed to surprise and delight. Including 70 drink recipes, and key information on tools and techniques and infusing and distilling to imbue your drinks with maximum flavor, this is the ultimate guide to modern cocktailing for the home bartender.

Prosecco Made Me Do It: 60 Seriously Sparkling Cocktails by Amy Zavatto Andrews McMeel Publishing (April 3, 2018) Prosecco is no longer just a sparkling wine; it’s a cultural phenomenon—a party in a glass. From food, wine, and spirits maven Amy Zavatto comes this beautifully illustrated introduction to a whole world of bubbly beverages. Prosecco Made Me Do It contains sixty delicious drink recipes paired with bright, fun, original artwork. Also included: a brief history of prosecco, purchasing and serving tips, and a guide to cordials, syrups, and liqueurs. From the classic Bellini and fresh fruit mimosa to a wide range of sparkling cocktails, the recipes in Prosecco Made Me Do It are light, fizzy, and fun.

Drinking Distilled: A User’s Manual by Jeffrey Morgenthaler Ten Speed Press (April 10, 2018) An opinionated, illustrated guide for cocktail beginners, covering the basics of spirits plus making and drinking cocktails, written by celebrated craft cocktail bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler. This easy-reading, colorful introduction for cocktail beginners, with approximately 100 succinct lessons on drinking culture, spirits, and cocktail making, is delivered in the pithy, wry style Morgenthaler is known for in his instructional videos and writing for beverage publications. Novices will learn how to order a drink, how to drink with the boss, how to drink at the airport, and more. Twelve perfect starter recipes–ranging from a Dry Gin Martini to a Batched Old-Fashioned (perfect for the flask)–plus thirty original illustrations round out this distillation for new enthusiasts.

Texas Cocktails: An Elegant Collection of More Than 100 Recipes Inspired by the Lone Star State by Nico Martini Cider Mill Press (May 8, 2018) Texas’ unique cocktail culture is on the rise once more — and you can discover it for yourself with over 100 creative and artful cocktail recipes. Tour the best bars across the state and around the world. Evocative photos, scene-setting descriptions, mixologist insights, party planning themes and shopping tips make this the perfect guide to the art of drinking, Texas-style. With gorgeous, full-color photography throughout, and cocktails inspired by Lone Star state artists, revolutionaries, and cowboys, Texas Cocktails features innovative libations shared by the best bartenders in the state, as well as creative new twists on old classics.

Ginspiration: The Best Distilleries, Infusions, and Cocktails by Klaus St. Rainer DK (May 15, 2018) Gin aficionados, let your ima-gin-ation run wild! Curiously quirky yet comprehensive, this is your ultimate guide to choosing and infusing your favorite spirit. Discover 45 of the top craft gins from the US, Canada, England, Scotland, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, and enjoy an in-depth profile of the smallest commercial distiller of its kind. Soon you’ll be familiar with botanical flavors and craft ingredients like raspberry syrup, hibiscus sugar, and smoky ice cubes. Once you know your coupe from your collins, peruse and prepare a gorgeous array of cocktail recipes straight from the mind of international mixologist Klaus St. Rainer. Whether you choose a classic Martini or a Royal Hibiscus Gin Fizz, Ginspiration will put you in the spirit to shake up something sensational.

Session Cocktails: Low-Alcohol Drinks for Any Occasion by Drew Lazor &‎ Editors of PUNCH Ten Speed Press (May 22, 2018) Bartenders are increasingly moving away from strong, spirituous cocktails toward a lighter canon of low-alcohol drinks that you can drink all day. These drinks provide an occasion for more leisurely socializing through their “sessionability”–you can have a few at a time without having to go down for a nap. Driven by a renewed interest in aperitifs and the increasing availability of liqueurs and amari in the U.S., these drinks provide new creative opportunities for professional bartenders and home hosts alike. Session Cocktails explores this trend through the history and evolution of low-proof drinks, tips on building a low-ABV (alcohol by volume) bar, and more than 60 recipes appropriate for occasions ranging from brunch to the end of the night, contributed by some of the industry’s best-known mixologists including Will Elliot, Natasha David, Dale DeGroff, and Leo Robitschek. In addition to drinks like the Mermaid Parade (Aperol, raspberry liqueur, grapefruit juice, and egg white), the Soft Shock (fino sherry, gin, lime, and mint), and Far East Side (sake, elderflower, tequila, and lemon), the book also features low-proof versions of your favorite classic cocktails.

The New Rum: A Modern Guide to the Spirit of the Americas by Bryce T. Bauer Countryman Press (June 5, 2018) Rum, traditionally relegated to cloying cocktails or tropical- themed novelty drinks, is undergoing a global renaissance. In bars and distilleries across the world, rum is being defined as a dynamic, complex, and versatile drink. New to the scene of connoisseurship, rum is a spirit of possibilities, inviting imaginative bartenders and mixologists to leave their marks on this burgeoning movement. In The New Rum, award- winning drinks author Bryce T. Bauer charts the historical and cultural journey of the spirit of the Americas from its origins in the Caribbean, to its long- held status as a cheap vacation drink, to today’s inspiring craft revival. This rum-spiked travelogue also includes a producer- focused drinks guide, covering dozens of the world’s most innovative and iconic producers, making everything from Martinique rhum agricole to long-aged sippers from Barbados and the Dominican Republic.

The Ultimate Guide to Beer Cocktails: 50 Creative Recipes for Combining Beer and Booze by Jon & Lindsay Yeager Skyhorse Publishing (June 5, 2018) Written by Jon and Lindsay Yeager, the renowned husband-and-wife mixologist duo of the Tennessee cocktail creative PourTaste, this book provides a variety of innovative and experimental recipes for mixing beers and spirits together (yes, you read that right) so you can join in on the imaginative new trend of “beertails.” The experts at PourTaste, with their years of training and dedication to the art of mixology, teach readers how to combine the beauty (and bubbles) of beer and the spirit of spirits to create refreshing new additions to any bartender’s repertoire. Included through this book are lush full-color photographs and step-by-step recipes to help educate readers on how to sling these delicious (and welcome) new members of the mixology scene. Beertails are easy to make, they taste great, and they accommodate any type of drinker―whether the preference is beer or liquor. Perfect for any type of celebration!

Finding Mezcal: A Journey into the Liquid Soul of Mexico, with 40 Cocktails by Ron Cooper & Chantal Martineau Ten Speed Press (June 12, 2018) In 1990, artist Ron Cooper was collaborating with craftspeople in Oaxaca, Mexico, when he found mezcal–or, as he likes to say, mezcal found him. This traditional spirit was virtually unknown in the United States at the time, and Cooper founded Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal in order to import it. Finding Mezcal recounts Cooper’s love affair with the spirit and the people who make it; its meteoric rise in popularity; and the delicate balance between sharing mezcal with the world and facilitating its preservation. Each chapter introduces a new mezcal, its producer, and its place of origin, while also covering mezcal production methods and the botany of the maguey (aka agave) plant, from which mezcal is distilled. Featuring 40 recipes developed for Del Maguey by chefs and bartenders from around the world, the book is copiously illustrated with photographs, as well as Cooper’s artwork and that of his friend Ken Price, who illustrated Del Maguey’s now-iconic labels.

Drinking Like Ladies: 75 modern cocktails from the world’s leading female bartenders; Includes toasts to extraordinary women in history by Misty Kalkofen & Kirsten Amann Quarry Books (June 19, 2018) Drinking Like Ladies is dedicated to preserving classic cocktails from pre-Prohibition and beyond, while celebrating the oft-forgotten ladies who sipped them. Acclaimed bartenders Kirsten Amann and Misty Kalkofen have scoured the globe collecting recipes–often from equally acclaimed female bartenders–pairing each tipple with a toast to a trailblazing lady. From gin to whiskey, tequila to punch, Drinking Like Ladies has a twist and a toast for every tippler, whatever your base spirit.

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41s44RvQ3lL._AA160_Time once again for our seasonal review of books relating to cocktails, bartending and all thing spirituous! 

The World Atlas of Whiskey 2nd Edition by Dave Broom (Mitchell Beazley)  Ask most people what kinds of whiskies there are, and they list a handful.  Irish, Scotch, Rye (incorrectly called Canadian whiskey), and Bourbon.  That’s like saying there are less than a half dozen kinds of wine.  What author Dave Broom seeks to do with his revised version of the World Atlas of Whiskey is to give a broad and yet detailed view of just how many styles and flavors of whiskies there actually are.  For example, new distilleries have opened up in the Far East that include spirits that consistently win gold medals in competition with European brands that have been around for centuries.  Designed as an oversized coffee table book, every page is beautifully appointed with full color photographs of distilleries, bottle labels and maps.  I can guarantee that if you read this book cover to cover, you will gain a better of understanding that the flavors and blends of whiskey are as broad a category as are the worlds of beer and wine.  The only things lacking are samples of whiskey to try while you read.  GSN Rating: A

41Z8ykNXabL._AA160_GQ Drinks by Paul Henderson (Mitchell Beazley)  Truly a cocktail book to make you jealous of British cocktail lovers, or go crazy trying to track down hard to find ingredients in the States; this is nonetheless a beautiful book for the advanced bartender.  Using a format similar to the Annual Food & Wine cocktail guides, sections are broken into spirit type with recipes chosen by some of England’s classiest bartenders including Simone Caporale, Ryan Chetiyawardana, Agostino Perrone and Milos Popovic just to name a few.  Each drink is given a full-page, artfully photographed and with background notes.  An introduction by the renowned Salvatore Calabrese, as well as a short section on supplies, techniques and sources round out this volume.  To get a picture of what’s happening in swinging London in the 21st century, you need look no further than GQ DrinksGSN Rating: B

51UN7ZkAfIL._AA160_The Bar Book by Jeffrey Morgenthaler (Chronicle Books)  As a mixologist, I first approached making cocktails from a purely historical interest.  I wanted to literally make cocktails chronologically, starting with the earliest examples from the mid-1800’s and work my way forward.  Once I had a handle on that, I decided expand my skills with cooking from scratch.  What was particularly eye opening for me was the realization that many of the techniques I’d learned making cocktails, also translated into cooking, and visa-versa.  So, it was that upon reading Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s treatise on cocktail techniques, I realized that it is in a very real sense, a cookbook.  Everything is covered here in very easy to understand and follow directions.  The usual shaking, stirring and straining info is obviously here, but Morgenthaler also provides time-tested recipes for making your own syrups, tinctures, sodas, purees, bitters and more.  You may want to invest in some quality bottles if you really get serious, but it’s also just plain fun to realize that cocktails can be more than the sum of store-bought ingredients.  Cocktails ultimately can be infused with a part of yourself.  GSN Rating: A+

bok_thomasjerd_0000_01e_web1How to Mix Drinks: The Bar Tenders Guide by Jerry Thomas (Cocktail Kingdom)  If this book looks or sounds familiar, it’s because its been around for over 150 years.  Hell, it even looks like an antique, as the publisher has gone through the extra expense to have it printed as an almost exact replica of the 1862 edition with gold ink along with deeply textured stamping of leaves on the covers and spine.  Sure, you can find loads of paperback copies of this book for sale on Amazon.com, but only this volume has the added benefit of recently uncovered insights by Prof. David Wondrich.  Having written the definitive biography of author Jerry Thomas several years ago (“Imbibe!”), Wondrich is well qualified to share what information he’s discovered since that volume was published.  New key facts about Thomas give additional insight into his life, his methodology and why his book was such a success when it was first published.  That alone should motivate you to buy this book, but if you’re still unconvinced to own perhaps yet your third of fourth copy of “How to Mix Drinks”, do it for the sheer joy of holding a book that feels so close to that first edition and you will probably never be able to afford.  GSN Rating: A

bok_bakercharlesh_0000_01e_web1The South American Gentleman’s Companion by Charles H. Baker Jr. (Cocktail Kingdom)  You don’t need to be from South America to appreciate the writing style and wry observations of this classic volume.  Expertly reprinted to match the original publication in every detail (including slipcase!), this is a real treat to read.  Charles H. Baker Jr. was a renaissance man in every sense of the word.  He hung out with Hemingway, literally traveled the world during the early era of flight, wrote a gothic southern novel, and even published his own magazine for a time.  But, in truth, he was the prototype of our current food & drink bloggers, collecting hundreds of recipes from around the globe and writing them down in prose.  It is this loose style of details on ratios, ingredients and brands that makes it frustrating to mixologists.  But, at the same time, it perfectly describes the customer’s point of view from the other side of the bar.  They may not know what you’re doing when you make a drink, but they know what makes for a great presentation and an interesting evening out.  Bolstered by two insightful articles by St. John Frizell (of NYC bar Fort Defiance), this is yet another wonderful addition to the ever-growing essential cocktail guide library published by Cocktail Kingdom.  GSN Rating: A

51SMGcFJFEL._AA160_Celebrity Cocktails by Brian van Flandern (Assouline)  This is the author’s third coffee table book published by Assouline.  Previous volumes have focused on vintage drinks and modern craft libations.  This one, pays tribute to Hollywood’s love affair with all things alcoholic.  Some of  the actor/cocktail associations are rather tenuous (Laurence Olivier & Snapdragon?), but others readily remind us of great films that have key drinking scenes and characters.  Many of the recipes are overly familiar drinks, but there are several originals as well as modern tributes to the great men and women of the silver screen.  Photographs by Harald Gottschalk are beautifully evocative and the many studio shots of famous actors imbibing are a treat.  GSN Rating: B-

41JRiTnrD7L._AA160_Death & Co. Modern Classic Cocktails by David Kaplan, Nick Fauchald & Alex Day (Ten Speed Press)  Just consider this: a bar opens in 2006, and eight years later they’ve created over 500 original cocktails.  Then contemplate that every time the season changes, this selfsame bar completely re-does their drinks menu.  Sound insane?  Yes, and at the same time, no.  It is one aspect of what has made NYC’s Death & Co. win accolades the world over.  The chapters in here are a textbook example of what to do right when running a bar.  Always pushing yourself into new creative vistas, yet at the same time avoiding disenfranchising your regular clientele.  In fact, several pages are devoted to the regulars who frequent the bar and have inspired the drinks.  Out of the hundreds of cocktail guides out there, this one more than any other makes you feel like you are right there working with the bartenders from opening to last call.  The cocktails are tremendous, the insights into what makes a successful bar even more so.  This book gets my vote for one of the top 10 cocktail books published in 2014.  GSN Rating: A++

51iDDyHR6NL._AA160_A Modern Guide to Sherry by Talia Baiocchi (Ten Speed Press)  The bartending world is always looking for something new to play with in cocktails.  Thanks to the ongoing efforts of Steve Olson of the outstanding B.A.R. and BarSmarts program, sherry is finally getting its due.  Ms. Baiocchi’s treatise on this oft misunderstood wine is a welcome addition to any serious bartenders library.  Spend a few hours reading the history behind one of Spain’s high points in winemaking, and you too will gain an understanding that sherry can be one of the most powerful tools in your cocktail arsenal.  If all you know about sherry is Harvey’s Bristol Cream, then this will be an eye-opener.  I appreciated the background on the many Bodegas where sherry is blended and aged.  Unlike the competitive wine making world, sherry crafters seem like a close family who support each other and know that they are keeping sherry alive and well in a world which until recently had forgotten the magic.  GSN Rating: A

41nNs068NJL._AA160_Proof by Adam Rogers (Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt)  Open up to the table of contents, and you get a perfectly succinct synopsis of how the alcohol in your bar is made from start to finish.  Yeast, sugar, fermentation, distillation and aging.  The last three chapters address the human effect.  Smell and taste, body and brain, and hangover.  I think that covers it all.  This book is for those who seek to understand why we drink what we drink and the science behind how it all comes together.  Nary a single cocktail recipe is to be found here, but a greater understanding of what it is that billions of people have enjoyed over the millennia.  If nothing else, a working bartender should be required to read this book just to gain an understanding of what the substance they dispense exactly is and does.  If you need proof that alcohol is just a bit magical, then you need to read ProofGSN Rating: A-

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IMG_0891-800A very nice drink that really does remind me of Autumn.  I’d probably prefer to strain this into a cocktail glass and serve it up, as opposed to on the rocks, as the texture gets a bit thin unless you drink it rather quickly.

I chose to use 100 proof rye and apple brandy for extra punch.  The interesting addition of Strega gives it a bit of a sweetness, working off the dryness of the whiskey and brandy and giving it a rounder and softer feel.  Although the Mr. Boston guide calls for Angostura bitters, originally it utilized house made cinnamon tincture.

The drink was created by Jeffrey Morgenthaler back in 2008.  Here’s what he has to say about it:  “I spent the week leading up to Tales of the Cocktail revisiting the Vieux Carré cocktail, which was created at the Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone by bartender Walter Bergeron in 1938. I tried several of the recipe variations out there on unsuspecting customers all week-long, perfecting the Vieux Carré before getting on the plane and heading to the Carousel Bar to have one for myself.

Okay, so the Vieux Carrés I found at the hotel weren’t that great. But the novelty of being able to walk into a bar and ask for this venerable old drink was enough to keep me satisfied.

One of the first things people asked me upon my return to work was, “How were the Vieux Carrés at the hotel?”

“Okay,” I’d reply, “but I think ours are better.”

My over-confidence came around and bit me on the backside when I realized that I hadn’t ordered enough Benedictine to make more than a handful of drinks that first night back. Fortunately I’m a resourceful lad from time to time, and I reached for the bottle of Strega to stand in for Benedictine. Switching out apple brandy for the cognac and some house made cinnamon tincture in place of the bitters, I’d inadvertently built a drink for our coming fall drink menu…”

Autumn Leaves
0.75oz straight rye whiskey
0.75oz apple brandy
0.75oz sweet vermouth
0.25oz strega
2 dashes angostura bitters
garnish: orange twist

Stir with ice and strain into ice-filled old-fashioned glass.  Add orange twist.

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