AMCbookEvery now and then I need to take a break from the heavy reading of big novels and historical nonfiction.  When that happens I like to pick up a reference book or thumb through a cook book and learn more about things of which I had little or no previous knowledge.  This time around I dove into The American Cocktail – 50 Recipes that Celebrate the Craft of Mixing Drinks from Coast to Coast, by Karen Foley and the Editors of Imbibe magazine and great photographs by Sheri Giblin.

I have never been much of drinker, until recent years when I discovered bourbon, so I had little knowledge about cocktails, although I love the whole idea of the mid-century cocktail culture.  I also  love all the vintage barware and things that went along with it.

Anyway, I wanted to learn more about classic mixed drinks after a recent conversation with friends about bourbon, and what cocktails have it in it.  The American Cocktail did the trick and now I have a much better working knowledge of various drinks, what it takes to make them.

About The American Cocktail – 50 Recipes that Celebrate the Craft of Mixing Drinks from Coast to Coast : “France has wine, Germany’s got beer, but America is the land of the cocktail. And cocktail culture is flourishing with bartenders across America combining local, artisanal, and homemade ingredients to create drinks with complex layers of flavor. From the editors of Imbibe Magazine comes this unique book filled with 50 favorites from some of the best bartenders coast to coast offering modern twists on classic drinks, plus all-new creations, complete with a look into each recipe’s inception and unique ingredients.”

I like the idea of hosting a party – a cocktail party if you will – where you serve a signature drink, one specialty drink that has been picked for the night.  I famously did this one time at an engagement party for a dear friend.  I made pitcher after pitcher of mojitos – and was told by those who know their stuff that I had a heavy hand with the alcohol.  With the help of The American Cocktail I now have some other great drinks to try at future events and may have a better handle on exactly how much of each ingredient to mix in – so we don’t have a repeat of the bride-to-be’s future sister-in-law dancing on the dining room table.

The American Cocktail – 50 Recipes that Celebrate the Craft of Mixing Drinks from Coast to Coast is available from Amazon and other fine retailers.
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