Local bartender, writer, spirits man, and occasional Sauced contributor Andrew Bohrer has a book out. It's about shots. Yes, the kind that come in a shot glass (except the ones that come in wee martini glasses).
The idea that a man capable of doing this would turn his prolonged attention to this amateur-hour drinking staple may come as a surprise. But Bohrer's compendium of recipes and alcoholic asides is a good read. Bohrer on Santa: "An old man with a beard who speaks loudly in the third person is clearly drunk."
Here, Bohrer breaks down the process behind his new book.
How did this book come about? I never fancied you a shot man.
I'm a shot man as much as the next guy, those who know me will say I'm definitely a pousse cafe guy. The publisher called me up, said he liked my blog, and basically proposed, "do that, but without saying f--k, for a reasonable wage?" And I said, "yes, but we are going to need an editor with patience in spades."
Did you develop most of these recipes, or did they exist already?
Other that the first chapter which are modified classic cocktails, yes. Many of them were concepts I wanted bartenders and drinkers to understand. Like, using herbs other than mint (say, fennel blossom), extolling the virtues of Galliano, getting acidity from vinegar, or using leftovers from the home pantry.
Do you have a favorite shot?
I actually like the Trigger the most. I actually make this as a testament to perfectly ripe cherries and it's basically a replacement for unnamed bourbon liqueurs on the market. I also listen to the Lyle Lovett song, "If I Had a Boat" in my head when I drink one.
Under what circumstances is it non-douchey to take shots?
I think that much like trying to be cool is the least cool, avoiding douche-dom at all costs is douchey. Paradox aside, I thought a lot about how I wanted this book to be used, and there are two main ways. First, to make a little signature shot for parties, made in batches, to get everyone on the same "playing field." The other is to lighten the mood at the bar. If you are a bartender that is three deep and you aren't making that Ramos gin fizz anytime soon, perhaps send out a round of 1-ounce shooters; it will tame the masses.
Under what circumstances is it douchey to take shots?
The only time I'd say it's a true no-no is when you are in a place with tablecloths and you ask for something with the word "bomb" in its name. Otherwise, I've never seen anyone puke from sipping a cocktail, but a shot will often end someone's night and general sense of cleanliness.