The Bar Book by Jeffrey Morgenthaler
The angle: Time to step up your bar game — big time. This is A-to-Z everything you need to know about crafting an excellent cocktail.
Recipes for right now: Bellini, Quinine Syrup (for Tonic Water), Dark and Stormy, Rum Old-Fashioned, Strawberry-Mint Shrub, House Orange Bitters, Cynar Flip, Mint Julep, Sidecar,
Who would enjoy this book? Professional bartenders and home cocktail enthusiasts.
• Who wrote it: Jeffrey Morgenthaler
• Who published it: Chronicle
• Other highlights: This is the kind of book I love — a book that feels like being handed the keys to the kitchen. Yes, there are plenty of classic and not-so-classic cocktail recipes to fawn over, but what really gets me excited are the pages and pages and pages of how to do stuff! And by "stuff" I mean things like making gum syrup for old-school cocktails and quinine syrup for homemade tonic water, how to properly bash a block of ice into tiny cocktail-worth bits, why you should really (really) use metric measurements, and the difference between a Japanese stir and an American stir. This kind of geeky, nerdy, uber-technical information is my personal heaven.
This book is also quite beautiful. The information is well-organized and easily digestible in great gulps of knowledge-gathering, while the photos are both illustrative of basic techniques and stunning to look at. This is also the kind of book where the index is important f0r quickly finding information on specific topics, and I appreciate that the one in this book feels comprehensive and accessible. (If you hadn't already guessed, I'm also an index-nerd.)
This is the kind of book that makes you want to abandon all plans for the future and open your own speakeasy. If I suddenly disappear from The Kitchn, that's where you'll find me.
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: The Bar Book by Jeffrey Morgenthaler
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