Spring 2010′s Best Reads
Organic, Shaken and Stirred: Hip Highballs, Modern Martinis, and Other Totally Green Cocktails:
Though the book has the whole eco-conscious thing running through it, there is nothing crunchy-granola about Abercrombie’s collection of 100 inspiring recipes. Consider such treats as “The Voluptuous” (organic strawberry muddled with organic gin, agave nectar, organic egg white, and a splash of absinthe) or “The Lunacy” (the toast of the Royalton in New York City). The book also provides an excellent primer to all of the most buzz-worthy organic vodka, gin, tequila, and other spirits major mixologists are clamoring for as well as how-tos for setting up a green bar, from ingredients to techniques, and equipment. PETER ABERCROMBIE, The Harvard Common Press, $19.95
The Flavor Bible
He’s a chef, and she’s a top food journalist. The dynamic husband-and-wife duo has pooled their talents to forge this prolific 2009 James Beard Award-winning book that proves a home mixologist can be a bar chef and not just copy others. Mastery over mixology is within the reader’s reach, thanks to the book’s unique organization. Thanks to the authors’ passion for spirits, being in the know can be as easy as looking up any spirit — both white and brown spirits, as well as juices, herbs, spices and more to bring the best flavor matches to use in your own cocktails. KAREN PAGE and ANDREW DORNENBURG, Little, Brown & Co, $35.
TEQUILA: A Guide to Types, Flights, Cocktails and Bites
Nothing says Cinco de Mayo like Tequila, especially because of its versatility from the cocktail to the plate. The James Beard Award-Winning Weir goes far beyond laying to rest the old belief that tequila is merely a shot or a margarita foundation. Instead, she distills three dozen original cocktail creations as well as inspiration from some of the top tequila bartenders in the country. Because a good host needs food to balance the cocktails, she also hooks up the reader with over 20 tequila-infused sides, mains, and desserts, from Gazpacho with Drunken Prawns to Bay Scallop Ceviche to Tequilamisu. JOANNE WEIR, Ten Speed Press, $16.95