Let me preface this review by saying that I am not much of a cocktail drinker: A glass of wine, sure, bourbon on the rocks, great, an occasional manhattan or a hot toddy on a cold winters night (made by my lovely husband), excellent. So when he asked me to review, The Craft Cocktail Party: Delicious Drinks for Every Occasion, I thought, well never mind what I thought. I agreed, mostly out of wifely duty, and well, I am really glad I did.
First off, this book is a refreshing change from the $5.99 barkeeps bible paperback shoved into the bottom of our bar. This book looks and feels like a cookbook. It has beautiful pictures, hints and tips for just about every recipe. It is also organized by season and theme. Summer contains a chapter called “From Tiki to Modern Tropical:” pretty self-explanatory. My personal favorite chapter is appropriately named ”Repeal Day” and contains such pre-prohibition doozies as the Hanky Panky, a combination of gin, sweet vermouth and Fernet Branca. On the bourbon/rye front the author has stayed pretty traditional with recipes for cocktails like the Classic Mint Julep with a variation called the Sweet Tea Julep. By hey, it doesn’t bother me any since I like to mix my bourbon with ice.
The real appeal of this book is the vast amount of useful and user-friendly information on how to have a successful cocktail party at home. Reiner has included everything from how long fresh-squeezed lemon juice will hold without turning bitter to how to set up a do-it-yourself cocktail bar including recommend amounts of ice and liquor. The author’s voice is strong throughout the book is and quite enjoyable to read.
Bottom line: This book is handy. The mixologist will appreciate Reiner’s creative “cocktailing” and tips from the professionals. For the rest of us (even if we don’t make a single cocktail from this book), it is a worthy addition to our liquor library for the useful information on serving sizes, party tips and techniques. And you never know, I may be begging for a cold tiki drink when the mercury hits 100 this summer. Stranger things have happened.
ENTER TO WIN YOUR VERY OWN COPY OF THE CRAFT COCKTAIL PARTY!
Would you like to win a copy of The Craft Cocktail Party: Delicious Drinks for Every Occasion of your own? The book’s publisher was kind enough to provide Bourbon & Banter with a copy to giveaway to our readers. To enter for a chance to win please complete the form below. We’ll pick a winner on Sunday, June 28th so make sure you enter by midnight on Saturday, June 27th. Good luck!