Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Bars & Spirits

Drink of the Week: Simple cocktails

A funny thing happened on the way to the cocktail-book boom. Or not so funny: It became very hard to make a cocktail at home.

Many of the recipes in the drink manuals of the last few years resemble academic papers, with asterisks and footnotes and "see page" references. To make a single cocktail, you have to execute two or three recipes: one for the drink, then one for the special syrup needed in the drink, or an infusion.

Kara Newman, the spirits editor at Wine Enthusiast magazine, noticed this. "Cocktail books have gotten really chef-y," she said. "They are showcases for the bartenders."

Her antidote to this plague of complications is Shake. Stir. Sip., a slim and simple volume published by Chronicle Books. The subtitle says it all: "More Than 50 Effortless Cocktails Made in Equal Parts." The recipes are two kinds of simple: None ask for more than five main ingredients (most require less), and all of them, not including garnishes and bitters, are in matching measurements.

Newman's aim was a cocktail book that pleased the newly sophisticated palates of today's cocktail drinkers, while sparing them added labor. "The drinks are easy to make," she said, "but not dumbed down."

New York Times

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