Five Cocktail Books for Beginners
You’ve tried to resist the cocktail revolution. It’s been hard. You used to live in the city, but then your local started to grow its own mint, so you fled. In a town where no-one under fifty wears a beard you thought you could stop running, but when you ordered a gin and tonic it came with handchipped ice and a sprig of rosemary. So on you stumbled until finally, in a village so small it doesn’t even have a name, you found a local where you felt safe. No-one ever seemed to be in there except the barman, Greg was his name. Greg only served Hinerken, and you’re pretty sure that’s not how it’s spelt.
But then it happened. One day you asked Greg for your usual pint of suspiciously foamy lager and he gave you a two-handled pewter bowl. ‘We’re trying something new,’ he said, shyly. ‘It’s a modern twist on a traditional brandy punch. We imported the ice from Greenland.’
It was garnished with a slice of candied aubergine.
So you’ve surrendered. You’re one of us now. But where are you supposed to begin? The typical cocktail menu offers a full-page description of each drink without ever getting round to what they actually taste like, and if you mispronounce the name of this Thai liqueur, that barman, the one with the nose ring, is going to laugh at you in an unfriendly way.
The array of available cocktail books is scarcely less bewildering, but this list is here to help. Below you’ll find five no-nonsense cocktail bibles to help you tell your Cocci di Torino from your Bols Genever.