HAPPY HOUR AT HOME by barbara scott-goodman is the perfect read for someone all ready comfortable in the kitchen, who wishes to add Cocktails to their skill set. what makes this book interesting is that each chapter is inspired by a different geographical location: THE ISLANDS, LATIN AMERICA, ASIA, EUROPE and USA…. with a chapter that focuses strictly on simple bar recipes like pickled cocktail onions and ginger syrup. in the chapter, “LATIN FLAVORS,” eight simple culinary recipes are presented along with eight simple mixology recipes. for example, the cocktails in this chapter are as follows: la paloma, caipirinha, classic margarita on the rocks, grand margarita, frozen margarita, la paloma, pisco sour, michelada, spicy tequila bloody mary, caipirinha. HAPPY HOUR AT HOME is a fun, global chic cookbook/barbook, perfect to have on hand for intimate gatherings. RUNNING PRESS $20
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Thursday, December 20, 2012
no matter if you are just starting your foray into the world of prohibition-era tipples, or if you are an old hand at crafting classic cocktails… hands down… this book rocks. simple as that. what i love is the tone the author’s use to convey their information to you. it’s non-pretentious, uncomplicated, friendly and professional. and all without compromising the integrity of their incredibly valuable content, which contains a whole bunch of refreshing, smart and creative tips.
for example, the “shake” verse the “dry shake” is explained in addition to adding a flame to your drink and a rinse to your glass. these are really great tips for the beginner that aren’t frequently discussed in the cocktail arena as i guess it’s assumed they are known facts.
the recipes include both original prohibition era tipples, along with inspired ones and both bar-cheffing and culinary recipes to boot. i don’t know what it is with meat, apart from it’s utter disgustingness, but again, bacon-infused bourbon is given for those intoxicated carnivores out there. along with clove tincture, which is pretty cool. a plethora of cocktail syrup recipes and infused spirit recipes are given along with shrub recipes and purees. this book is jam packed with really great stuff. the culinary recipes include interesting choices such as fennel onion strings and rosemary sea salt fried chickpeas. YUM. i don’t know what is is with bacon but for the blood thirsty sweet tooths out there we have bacon cashew brittle. EW.
the authors combined are the likeable and well known culinary duo known as the hardy boys: steve mcdonagh and dan smith. together they own the chicago-based establishment of the same name. the hardy boys were the winners of “the next food network star” and it’s easy to see why after perusing this fabulous book. they have also served, among others, celebrities barack obama, oprah winfrey and hillary clinton.
THE NEW OLD BAR $19.95 agate publishing
Monday, November 26, 2012
EDIBLE COCKTAILS is the author’s third cocktail book. the liquid muse, otherwise known as natalie bovis, has taken the concept of gardening and applied it to cocktails. it may sound like a no brainer, but no one has officially done this in print and natalie does a beyond superb job of it. from how to start a garden, to making your own compost, to collecting your own rain water, to choosing which plants to grow, natalie has covered all earthly bases. no matter if you are an urban dweller with or without a balcony, sharing a plot in a community garden or converting your front lawn into a cocktail patch, easy to understand advice is administered freely in this valuable book. the only thing i found missing might be the benefits of adding a bee hive to your garden.
after the gardening chapter, the book then moves onto recipes for cocktails and the ingredients needed to make them extra delectable: syrups, marmalades, infusions, shrubs, flavored waters, juices, purees and liqueurs. the selection of recipes is incredibly creative and delivered in friendly way—not at all intimidating to home bar newbies…
there is a whole chapter on grape based spirits, into which a healthy selection of wine-based cocktails is placed. i was very impressed with the level of ingenuity in natalies’ concoctions, like the lemongrass-sauvignon blanc syrup. this book makes a great gift for the winos in your life!
as a vegetarian, i was disgusted by the chapter dedicated to meat cocktails. but, it just cements that there really is something for everyone in this book, and that includes carnivores who like to play with their food… like chorizo mezcal. i’ll be skipping that one myself, but if your man likes the barbeque, this book is for him. when its too cold to fire up the grill outside, now he can turn his meat prep skills loose on the bar.
there is also a chapter dedicated to cocktails that use sustainable spirits. such spirits are made using organic or responsibly harvested produce and/or practices, like del maguey mezcal. seven ways to “green” your bar are listed, such as fixing leaky faucets that may be wasting deceptively large amounts of water.
lastly, i found the chapter on garniture to be particularly interesting. i love blending fresh herbs into sugar or salt and now you can too. explicit directions are given on how to prepare farm fresh rimming mixtures, including fresh mint sugar with which to rim your mojito. and with holiday just around the corner, an ice wreath is sure to please (get your bundt pan on!)
every section of this book is so well thought out and original in every way. it’s a winner! five stars! and a definite yes for the imbiber on your christmas list. $18 ADAMS MEDIA
Monday, November 5, 2012
this interesting book narrates the author’s journey in building a wine shop with absolutely no previous experience in the arena of sales. totally new to the retail sector–mr. pasanella was an accomplished architect/teacher/author previous to boarding the career jumping ship. he tells a humorous and painstaking story of ups and downs in the realization of his now successful wine shop: Pasanella & Sons. not only is the book entirely true and entertaining at the same time, but it is also quite informative and enlightening for both the wine novice and adept. it also speaks on a personal level to me as an entrepeuneer facing all sorts of challenges that any small business owner can relate to. i especially love the appendix at the back which contains many gems, favorite of which is “the ten strangest words in wine: cat’s piss, dirty socks, flabby, fruit bomb, corked, chewy.” great stocking stuffer! $24 clarkson potter
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
like. so. ridiculously. fabulous. omigod. I LOVE IT! it’s a fan, that opens up to display a fantastic cocktail recipes on each page, complete with cute kitschy graphics, all color coordinated, i can’t stand it. someone make the cuteness stop… NOT! christmas is a coming and like SANDY was the PERFECT STORM, SANTA says this is the PERFECT STOCKING STUFFER. oh, i’m cheesy? i guess that’s what days on end without power does to you. thanks sandy. hey, but the fabulous mrs lilien’s cocktail swatch book is only $15. buy it after mercury retrograde is over, which starts nov. 6 and ends nov 26.
Friday, May 25, 2012
If i were to sum up 2012 in one word, it would be “HEAL.” the rules have changed, peeps. thank F’ing god for that. no longer will those with a speck of integrity excel while those who speak truth and act love flounder in the ditch. no longer will lies be swept under the rug. only transparency will do now. the rug is gone, it’s been recycled into the high vibration light of 2012. so, if you are one of those peeps still caught up in the old ways of “winning the rat race,” at any cost: lying, stealing, cheating and thinking you got away with something… well guess what? your gig is up! the ONLY way to win the new earth game is by RAISING YOUR VIBRATION. but here’s the best part… it’s FREE! yup, you heard me right… a celebratory gift from a celebrity healer: david elliott’s book “HEALING” is available as a free ebook @ davidelliott-healing.com or as a paper back $18. cheers!
Saturday, March 10, 2012
!HOLA TEQUILA! by about.com author, colleen graham, gives praise to one of my faves: tequila. i’ve got a soft spot for all things mexican and that definitely includes this underdog of the spirit world.
if you like tequila, you will love this book. and if you don’t like tequila, you’ll still like this book… because 90% of people who think they don’t like tequila have forgotten exactly why they think they don’t like tequila. i can’t tell you how many times i’ve served a tequila based drink to a customer who commenced to joyfully imbibe it… until they found out it was tequila! BUT, after they realized the silliness of their tequila-based fear, they conquered that fear, and continued sipping their tequila-based tipple in confident and pleasant surprise. “this is tequila? no!” so you see, tequila is not who you thought he was. tequila is mr. right for your drink right now!
out of the 90 tequila recipes included in this funky, retro style book, my fave is the CHOCOLATE MARGARITA. who would put those two together? me! i’m a tequila-lovin chocoholic. cinco de mayo is right around the corner, so make sure you are prepared with this handy book. love the colors, love the design, love the vintage look. kudos on the design colleen, and the cocktails too!
If you want to find a find a retro blender or just a fun green, red or yellow blender to place next to your awesome new book, look around at your local thrift store! Forget worrying about if it is working–you can easily hop online and find replacement parts.
2 oz blanco tequila
1 oz chocolate liqueur
1 oz creamer (i sub coconut milk)
splash fresh oj
splash fresh lime juice
dash chocolate bitters
place the ingredients in a blender and mix well, then add 1 cup of ice and blend until smooth. pour into a margarita glass that has been rimmed iwth a mix of sugar and cocoa.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
THE AMERICAN COCKTAIL is the first book from the visionary writers of IMBIBE MAGAZINE. the staff combed the country for the most creative cocktails to include in one concise hard-covered collection in lieu of their usual monthly glossy. if you haven’t noticed as of yet, bartending is hot. in the last month alone i’ve gotten three requests to teach the skills of the trade to curious beginners. i don’t think there’s anyone who wouldn’t appreciate this book as a stocking stuffer. (CHRONICLE $20)
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
japan might just be the coolest country in the world. after all, the entire world shops japan for new fashion, product and eco trends—tokyo, specifically. apart from their little whale fetish, the japanese people have it going on, big time. because of this, i am really proud that intoxicated zodiac candles are sold in japan, and i can’t wait to get over there myself! when i do finally make it to the “coolhunting” destination of the fashion world, this book will be packed in my suitcase. “DRINKING JAPAN: A GUIDE TO JAPAN’S BEST DRINKS AND DRINKING ESTABLISHMENTS” by chris bunting, is not only a fascinating and comprehensive read, but a charitable one as well. with every purchase a portion is donated to japan earthquake relief—and yes, the effects of the quake are still an unlivable nightmare for those affected. (just because it’s never mentioned on USA TV doesn’t mean it’s not still beyond bad over there.) one more reason to buy this book and go to japan asap—they need all the tourism support the world can give them! but, even if you are not traveling in japan, this book is still really great. anyone who is fascinated by the wonderful world of spirits will take pleasure in flipping the pages of this entertaining and insightful book. so, for christmas this holiday, get your friend this stocking stuffer along with a bottle of saki, and they will be instantly cool… cool, like japan. ($24.95 USD)
BTW, japan is a libra! betcha didn’t know that…
Thursday, October 20, 2011
THE PUNCH BOWL by dan searing is a must have for holiday entertaining. that is, if you don’t want to spend all your time behind the bar mixing drinks for your guests, with whom you should be cavorting. yes, pitcher drinks are all the rage, but before pitchers, there were punches. in fact, before we were born, there were punches. some of the recipes in THE PUNCH BOWL are circa 1890. this factual and well photographed book contains both antique recipes and their more modern counterparts. in short, it really is a fantastic collection for novice or the pro… $14.95.