The Bartender’s Pantry: A Beverage Handbook for the Universal Bar

Ten Speed. Jun. 2024. 384p. ISBN 9781984858672. pap. $35. COOKING
A pioneer in the craft cocktail movement in the U.S., Meehan (author of the James Beard Award–winning Meehan’s Bartender Manual) teams up with artist/designer Sasso, with the help of writer Emma Janzen for a deep dive into the mixers and pantry ingredients that go into creating first-rate drinks. After opening with a short introduction that illuminates Meehan’s philosophy toward ingredients and their origins, the book breaks down into chapters, each dedicated to one of 10 cocktail ingredients, including sugars, spices, dairy, grains and nuts, fruits, coffee, tea, and ferments. Each chapter includes an overview that delves into its ingredient’s history and culinary usage, with tips on sourcing and storing the ingredient too. Recipes featuring the ingredient follow, such as cucumber-mint cordial and Baja grenadine. More than 100 recipes for drinks (many contributed by bartenders and mixologists around the world) are served up, including innovative twists on old classics, like the Bloody Marion, and a few nonalcoholic drinks, like Kadak spicy chai
VERDICT Bartending professionals will find this to be an invaluable resource, but home drink slingers seriously intent on upping their cocktail-mixing game might enjoy it as well.
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