COOKING & FOOD

How To Cocktail: Recipes and Techniques for Building the Best Drinks

America’s Test Kitchen. Oct. 2019. 272p. ed. by ed. by America’s Test Kitchen. photos. index. ISBN 9781945256943. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781945256950. COOKING
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The first cocktail book from America’s Test Kitchen is a primer on mixology, beginning with an overview of base spirits and liqueurs, juices, syrups, and bitters. The editors recommend the bottles and tools that are essential to stock a liquor cabinet, as well as the strictly additional purchases. Two pages of Helpful Cocktail Lists focus on figuring out exactly what to make based on what’s in your home bar: One-Bottle Cocktails, Three-Ingredient Cocktails, Low-Alcohol Cocktails, Nonalcoholic Cocktails, and Spirit-Only Cocktails. Chapters are separated by the way a drink is constructed—built in a glass, shaken (with instructions on how to master the shaker), muddled, blended, and batched for a crowd. The cocktails are predominantly classics, such as a Ramos gin fizz, hot toddy, mint julep, and sidecar, along with some original concoctions, including a kiwi blossom, which is made with cucumber and homemade Jasmine liqueur. An intriguing chapter offers recipes for DIY liqueurs and vermouths, and the book finishes with a chapter of cocktail party snacks. Little surprises, but the straightforward explanations and attractive photos make this a handy guide.
VERDICT A thorough and helpful introduction to cocktail making from the perspective of the home cook.

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