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The Craft Cocktail Party: A Review & Giveaway

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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.


The Craft Cocktail Party Book PhotoWould 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!

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The Redhead

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