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CHEERS to a Cocktail!
Oct 05, 2004 02:45 PM 2995 Views
(Updated Oct 05, 2004 04:20 PM)

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Wait! Before you even get the remotest idea that I'm advocating vices here let me clear my stand. I'm dead against drinking in a way which would put your beloved ones to shame. I mean, that sort of drinking when u lose all control and don't know a S of what u're talking or doing. No, my review is for all those people who drink for the sake of an enjoyment, a feel-good factor! Why Cocktails?


Well, for more than 1 reason. a) Lesser amount of alcohol will go down ur system compared to a large on-the-rocks or neat b) It makes for some pleasurable drinks considering the vast scope of experimenting it allows a creative soul (like me) ;) c) and many more...I'm already running short of space!


TITLE: THE COCKTAIL HANDBOOK


AUTHOR: MARIA COSTANTINO


PUBLISHER: D&S BOOKS(first published in 2001)


e-mail: enquiries.dspublishing@care4free.net


It is a 256 pages, brilliantly illustrated, strategically categorised book of Cocktails & Mocktails! Hey! The Mocktails recipes in here is worth a try for even for those die-hard macho spirit sauvouring men. Otherwise, these recipes mentioned here will be loved by the women & there are a few for the kids also. I


love the one called ''Mickey Mouse'' and I'd have that any age of my life :)


The book starts with


INTRODUCTION


I love this part particularly because it shows the author considers Cocktail-making an art and like any other art-form, the source, tradition, myths, legends, controversies, et al related to COCKTAILS. In short, this chapter introduces the reader to the art of Cocktail-making, root to tip. The book has mainly two sections: 1. Cocktail (mixed drinks with alcoholic base) 2. Mocktail (mixed drinks with non-alcoholic base) The Cocktail section is further classified based on the base spirit used.


All the recipes in this book's Cocktail section are based on Gin, Vodka, Tequila, Rum, Brandy, Whisky, Vermouth, Wine (includin some Champagne and fortified wines like Sherry & Port) with a few additions such as Angostura bitters, Grenadine, Fruit Juices and Sparkling Minerals. Also, at the beginning of each Chapter there is a detailed information on each of the spirits. What's good about this book is that we can experiment with the ingredients & their proportions till we find the ''perfect mix'' and it's loads of fun, trust me ;)


COCKTAIL ESSENTIALS: Like any good cookbook, this one also gives a gist of the necessary ingredients apart from the spirits and juices mentioned above. The type of glass befitting a drink, the garnishes that can be used for each drink, all the decorations to go with it...in short, it not only teaches you to make a good drink but, also trains you to present it ''the right way''. Of course, like smell is to food, looks is to Cocktails. When I started I was armed with only the basic that you usually find in the ice tray ;), kitchen cupboards and drinks cabinet.


Today, I'm a proud owner of a well-equiped mini bar in a corner of my home. The Cocktail essentials mentioned in the book include Ice, Base Spirits, Liqueurs, Triple sec, Wines, aromatised wines & fortified wines, Sherry & port, Beer, Angostura bitters, Grenadine, Minerals & Juices, fresh fruits, Condiments, Salt, Sugar, Spices, Garnishes. It also tells us how & when to use a particular garnish & pictorically explains how to make the perfect wedges, twists, gomme syrup, slices, etc. The book also lists all types of GADGETS & GIZMOS and u bet, ther're damn cool! Starting with Shaker, paring knife, Mixing glass, Jigger, Measuring spoons, ice buckets, spoons of all lengths & shapes, muddlers, swizzlers, cork screw, cocktail sticks, parasols, straws...I don't think the author missed out on anything in this section! The best part is the topic on Glassware.


There about 8 basic types of glassware : Cocktail Glass, Old fashioned, Highball, Collins, Sour, Ballon, Champagne Saucer & Champagne Flute, Toddy. Each type has been explained very well and there's a small table that will tell U all about ''COCKTAIL TERMINOLOGY'' at one glance. Then, there's a small Do's & Dont's List which is a must-read for anyone attempting this art! :) Hey! There's this part called R-E-M-O-R-S-E! which is amusing!


''Those dry Martinis did the work for me;


Last night at twelve I felt immense,


Today I feel like thirty cents.''


There are about below given number of cocktail recipes under each section of the base drink:


Gin-26 : Bernardo, The Collins, Flying Dutchman, Gentlemen's Club, Gin Rickey, Grass Skirt, White Lady, ...


Rum-24 : Cuba Libre, El Presidente, Grenada, Jamaica Sunday, Northside Special, Pina Colada, scorpion, ...


Vodka-24 : Bloody Mary, Bullfrog, Hawaiian Vodka, Long Island Iced Tea, Salty Dog, Volga, ...


Whisky-23 : Artist's Special, New York, Opeing, Rebel raider, Scots guard, Strongarm, Thunderclap, Whisky Squirt, ...


Tequila-24 : Chimayo cocktail, Border Crossing, El Dorado, Gentle Ben, Icebreaker, Margarita, Mexicano, Tequila Sunrise + Moonrise, Viva Villa, ...


Brandy-23 : Burnt orange, Montana, Esquire, Mate, Monte rosa, ...


Wine & Champagne-22 : Adonis, Americano, Bellini, Diablo, Mimosa, ...


Punches, Cups & Toddies-22 : Alhambra(hot), Confetti punch (cold), Sangria (C), Somerset & Toledo Punch


*Mocktails-21 : Atomic Cat, Bora-Bora, Cinderella, Cranberry Cooler, Flamingo, Lassi (came as a surprise to me!), Mickey Mouse, Pomola, Prohibition punch, Shirley Temple, Virgin Bellini


Each page features one drink and details pertaining to it like: Method, Glass, Garnish, a short history on it's origin, Ingredients, Method and a picture of the final drink. What more could you ask for? In fact, on some pages there's a note that gives you a hint how sweet/bitter this drink can be and possible methods to alter the taste to your liking.


So, that's about all that I can reveal regarding this book in this review. The rest is for you to experiment and find out or then, there's a better option for my friends:) I'll play ''bartender'' :) hehe... CHEERS!


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