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Jeffrey Morgenthaler: The Bar Book, Elements of Cocktail Technique

Posted on by Eric Burke

I’ve been reading Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s blog for a long time. It was there that I learned that my home state of Wisconsin has it’s own kind of Old Fashioned made using brandy and fruit and…Sprite? (Asking around at family gatherings has confirmed the existence and popularity of the Brandy Old Fashioned, made Wisconsin Style.) So it was with great sadness that I noticed his blogging output had basically dried up to nothing.

But it was with great joy that I read the news that the reason for the dry spell was that he was writing a book instead. I immediately pre-ordered it and eagerly awaited it’s arrival in my mail box.

I wasn’t disappointed. There is a short introduction, but then it dives right into the ingredients and techiniques you’ll use as you build cocktails. It runs full speed through citrus, syrups, mixers, stirring, shaking, measuring, infusions, dairy and eggs, safe food handling, and garnishes. The book only pauses now and then for the occational recipe.

The Bar Book, Elements of Cocktail Technique by Jeffrey Morgenthaler is not a recipe book. This is a how-to book. It doesn’t just list out ingredients, it tells you why to use them. It doesn’t just say measure, it tells you how to measure. And it does so with warnings as to what might happen if things go wrong. 

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I cannot recommend this book enough. It is entertaining, informative, and beautifully presented. If you like making cocktails or just think that you would like to like making cocktails go buy it now.