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Book Brief: The Craft of the Cocktail

Book Brief: The Craft of the Cocktail
Serve your guests a lemony Pimm's Cup or a refreshing mint julep and transport them worlds away. With The Craft of the Cocktail in hand, you can tantalize palates and enliven your parties with an impressive repertoire of special drinks.

Author Dale DeGroff, who ran the bar at New York City's renowned Rainbow Room and taught at the Culinary Institute of America, shares professional techniques in a friendly, reassuring style. Arranged alphabetically, his 500 drink recipes are easy to find and follow. Vintage cocktails, such as the Singapore Sling from the Raffles Hotel, capture a time of grace and opulence. The author also includes his own signature drinks that feature fresh fruit juices and reveal the latest in cocktail trends.

More than just a collection of recipes, the guide delves into the history of famous cocktails. Read about the colorful personalities that inspired them and the celebrated restaurants and bars that served them. The smallest change can transform a cocktail into a different beverage, and from each little twist springs a lovely story as well as a unique drink.

Hollywood buffs, literary hounds and cocktail lovers alike will enjoy the book's many anecdotes. Learn how a gin and tonic, the classic summer cocktail, became a sweet, lemony Fitzgerald in honor of the famous writer. Fun cocktail trivia are sprinkled throughout the book: Did you know that a wedge of lime soaked in bitters and dipped in sugar can cure hiccups, or that Vesper is the name of the original James Bond martini?

As its title promises, the book explains in detail how to create the perfect cocktail. It discusses the major spirits and addresses the mechanics of mixing. You'll learn how vodka, gin, whiskey, rum and other important spirits are made; how to distinguish among the various styles; and how to use each ingredient in a drink.

Large color photographs show finished cocktails to inspire and instruct home bartenders. In the basics chapter, technique shots illustrate the proper way to muddle lime, grate fresh nutmeg and cut citrus peel, including how to carve the distinctive lemon peel spiral that garnishes a classic Gin Sling. The author's annotated resource list for products, services and sources will help you find exactly what you want, be it antique corkscrews or orange bitters. A comprehensive glossary completes this definitive guide.Whether you've just purchased your first jigger or boast a fully stocked bar, The Craft of the Cocktail is essential reading for any host.