Step By Step Cocktails: The Perfect Guide to Cocktail Making, which is part of Parragon’s Love Food line of books, is great for someone who is a very visual learner– there are pictures for every step, a picture of a mise en place, and a picture of the finished drink, so you can read the instructions and see exactly how to make the drink. The list is pretty wide– standards like Manhattans and Cosmopolitans, as well a few recipes that are a little more interesting: a bourbon milk punch, a Boston sour. I really love that though the book is basic, they don’t take shortcuts: fresh juices and fruit are all over this book. They also don’t specify many brands, unless it’s something like Pernod, which is fairly distinctive. So many cocktail books are so specific, you feel like you have to spend $100 before you make a drink (trust me, I’ve done it).
My only complaint is that the portions are huge– the recipe for the Cosmopolitan calls for 7 1/2 ounces of liquid, and that’s before shaking– when I prefer a 3 oz cocktail. Those large sizes just get warm and become unpleasant to drink. I’d just advise using most of the recipes for two cocktails.
Here’s what the recipe looks like in the book.
Want your own copy? Simply comment here and tell me your favorite cocktail. This contest is open to readers age 21 and up (for obvious reasons) and residents of the US only. I’ll pick a winner on Friday and ship you your book!