Reading and Drinking

Two Very Nice New Cocktail Guides

One for you, one for your mom.

May 8, 2009

I have in front of me two new cocktail books—one national, Food & Wine’s Cocktails ’09, though with some Seattle bits tossed in for flavah—and one local: Sips and Apps by Kathy Casey.

The F&W Book is an impressive combo of recipes and repurposed content from the mag, and includes, at the back, a list of the 100 best bars in America. Here’s what’s listed under Seattle: ART Lounge (obligatory mention of new place), Licorous (I love it, but could do without the sometimes weird service) Sun Liquor (love it, but could do without that mean hostess) Tini Bigs (more on this later), Vessel (where $12 cocktails seem expensive only until the drink starts making sweet, passionate love to your taste buds), and the Zig Zag Café (no brainer).

A good list, but a little bound to Downtown. Had they asked, I would have suggested that F&W cast its net a little wider and included Sambar or Hazlewood.

Hey if you don’t have this book and you’re sort of a wannabe amateur cocktail fashioner, I’d recommend it, because it’s quite handy. It breaks down tools, glasses, recipes for simple syrups, what liquors to buy….It’s good. And it has a design that pleases.

Oh and the “more on that” Tini Bigs thing? It’s this: Jamie Boudreau authored the aperitif section of the book, and the intro reads: “Boudreau is planning to open his own place soon.” Wah wah wah?? I emailed him and asked him for more info.

Onto Mizz Casey’s book. Hers is also a pairing guide and has that zingy flourish that’s become her signature (“Sassy" Sherry-Roasted Peppers, anyone? How about a Strawberry Shag cocktail. Me-ow!).

Let me just say: if your mom is a drinker and a Martha devotee, she totally wants this book for Mother’s Day. Armed with her own copy, she shall throw badass parties for her friends who will be deliciously jealous and maybe stop talking about their grandkids foronegoddamnsecond. Please tell her to invite me though, cause I want mini-scallion biscuits and roasted pear crostini with gorgonzola, and my mom lives too far away to make them for me.

Casey also has good advice about muddling fruit and using fresh herbs and salt-rimming your margarita glasses. (“Do not get salt inside the glass.”)

So there you have it. Cocktail books! I’m off to Hop Scotch tonight. (tequila flights!) Hope to see you there.


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