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A Spontaneous Libation for your Consideration

From the Knowledge Vault

The Twelve Bottle Bar Book

I received an advance copy from the publisher of The Twelve Bottle Bar, a new book by the David Solmonson and Leslie Jacobs Solmonson, authors of the Twelve Bottle Bar blog. Let me first be up front about a few things. I had heard of the blog before the review copy of the book came my way, but I hadn’t looked at it in depth. Furthermore, this book is firmly geared toward the novice cocktail enthusiast, which I am definitely not.

One of the high points of this book is that is covers the bases of modern cocktail making thoroughly. Amidst sidebars about classic bar cons, witty apocrypha on the origins of Cognac, and classic mid-century vodka advertising slogans, there is a lot of high quality, reasonably well researched information about ice, barware and specific brands to buy in any given price range.

New cocktail enthusiasts are told in no uncertain terms what spirits they should buy, why they should buy the specific recommended brands, and roughly how much they’ll pay for them. This is incredibly useful information when starting out. It will help readers avoid spending money on spirits and mixers with few uses until they feel confident enough to explore the world of spirits more in depth.

I also admire the sections on non-alcoholic drinks, cider and beer cocktails, and etiquette for hosting parties and being a guest at one. I would have been thrilled with a more in depth treatment of the logistics and attitudes toward hosting a cocktail party, and it would give the novice more confidence to have friends over and put The Twelve Bottle Bar to good use.

Recent Additions

  • Old Friend — Gin, Campari, Elderflower liqueur, Grapefruit juice
  • Tiramisu shot — Nocino, Cherry Liqueur, Virgin Islands Rum, Cream
  • Grim Reese's — Cognac, Crème de Cacao, Almond milk, Peanut butter
  • Dead Man's Wallet — Rye, Ruby Port, Bitters, Lemon juice, Cinnamon syrup
  • Paris Manhattan — Bourbon, Elderflower liqueur, Dry vermouth, Bitters, Maraschino cherry

Recent Discussion

  • Re Untitled, 3 hours ago bkemp1984 commented:

    I like this as written and also with more tequila than the liqueurs. Tonight I did 1/4 oz of kirschwasser instead of maraschino, it def. worked.

  • Re Blood and Sand, 12 hours 36 minutes ago MikeLewis commented:

    Used blood orange juice; 1 oz Highland Park 18; 3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth (½ Punt-e-Mes, ½ Carpano Antica); ½ oz Cherry Heering. Next time will try with a smokier Scotch.

  • Re Fletcher Christian, 1 day ago smparkes commented:

    With respect to the 3 drops of Elixir Vegetal de la Grande Chartreuse: this is far more concentrated than Chartreuse so a few drops makes sense (subbing 3 drops of Chartreuse wouldn't, though)

  • Re Country Life, 1 day ago Shawn C commented:

    I can confirm the recipe that Frederic Yarm listed above is the same as in Gaige's 1944 Standard Cocktail Guide. Note that the jigger volume Gaige listed in 1944 was 1.5 oz. It calls for shaking rather than stirring, but that is one of those strange things about the period that is best ignored to follow modern practice depending on composition.

    The original "Suburban" mentioned in the 1935 The Old Waldorf Astoria Bar Book is: 3/5 Whiskey, 1/5 Port, 1/5 Jamaican Rum, 1 dash Angostura, 1 dash Orange bitters. It is odd to me that the Punch variant of "Country Life" lacks any bitters, since there were 4 total dashes in Gaige's version. That boost in the Angostura aromatic bitters is what set it apart other than the minor difference in ratio of whiskey.

  • Re The Distraction, 1 day ago Mixin In Ansley commented:

    Dig a simply ratioed cocktail but this one lacks balance.