If you've perused the shelves of your local book emporium, you have probably encountered an installment of the annual Food & Wine series of cocktail books. If you've passed it up before thinking that the book was nothing but a re-hash of the cocktail recipes published in Food & Wine magazine, you've been missing out on one of the most current chronicles of contemporary cocktails. (Say that three times fast after a few drinks.)
Every year the folks at Food & Wine get the biggest names in bartending—the bartenders behind some of the most popular bars in the country—to contribute recipes for the book, as well as providing a list of bars and restaurants where you can find great cocktails. The recipes reflect the tastes and trends found on the menus of high-end cocktail bars, allowing the readers to recreate the drinks of America's hottest cocktail spots at home. The book comes complete with a guide to basic bartending skills, an illustrated chart of tools and glassware, and advice on which liquors and liqueurs to buy.
This year, Food & Wine Cocktails 2011 features the talents of Kathy Casey curating the chapter on vodka, Ryan Fitzgerald in gin, Philip Ward in tequila, Richard Boccato in rum, John Coltharp in whiskey, Jackson Cannon in brandy and the irrepressible David Wondrich for a chapter on—what else?—punches. There are also two chapters—Mixologist All-Stars and Chefs' Cocktails—featuring individual recipes from accomplished bartenders and chefs, and a full chapter on mocktails curated by bartender and syrup maven Jennifer Colliau.
Of course, being Food & Wine, they couldn't help but include recipes for great bar food, as well. The recipes come from restaurants and night spots all over the map, featuring the likes of Fried Goat Cheese Balls with Honey from The Lazy Goat (Greenville, SC), Buffalo Fried Pickles from Second Bar + Kitchen (Austin, TX), Duck & Sweet Potato Hash from Cure (New Orleans, LA) and Hello Kitty Hot Dogs from Senate (Cincinnati, OH).
Win a copy of Food & Wine Cocktails 2011
Thanks to the generous folks Food & Wine, we are giving away five (5) copies of Food & Wine Cocktails 2011 this month. To enter, tell us about your favorite cocktail bar in the comments section below.
About the author: Marleigh Riggins Miller writes and photographs for SLOSHED!, a website about cocktails, spirits, home bartending, and entertaining.