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Favorite cocktail site, or book

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    Favorite cocktail site, or book

    ? Thinking about upping my cocktail game this summer. I have no real experience other then a few basics. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

    ‘and what are your bar standards for stocking.

    So a LOT of this depends on what you like but here's my take:

    Gin: A London Dry version that's juniper based and an herbal one that's not. Where you are, you need some Death's Door Gin. https://www.deathsdoorspirits.com/spirits/gin and maybe some Hendricks.

    Vodka: eh. I don't drink the flavored versions and don't really drink vodka much at all. Smirnoff for mixed drinks, Grey Goose or Ketel One for martinis and the like if you want.

    Whiskey. Sigh... this gets really personal. For bourbon, I like Larceny 92. But if you like sweeter, oakier bourbon, something like Knob Creek. BEWARE a lot of artisanal American whiskeys are distilled in Indiana or Kentucky and relabeled.

    Scotch. Blended or single malt... for the former (which you can do neat, over rocks or in mixed drinks) Monkey Shoulder or Shackleton. There's a lot in the $25-30 range. Premium blended stuff I;'ve not tried so I don't know if things like Johnnie Walker Black are worth the spend. Single malt - if you like it neat, try Talisker but this is one of those rabbit hole things. There are dozens and they're all different.

    In addition to all of this there are bitters, vermouths etc to learn about.

    For a book, I like this one: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...jas4fg0&rank=1

    This is a fun app to store and share drink recipes https://www.studioneat.com/products/highball
    Last edited by rickgregory; March 6, 2021, 09:59 PM.


      The website for many if not all Liquor companies have cocktails. Also, Traegergrills.com under recipes has cocktails Cocktail Recipes for Wood Pellet Grills | Traeger Grills
      Happy grilling to you and PBR too.


        BTW, The Spruce Eats has a bunch of classic cocktail articles that are great starting points:

        Gin - https://www.thespruceeats.com/essent...cktails-760133

        Whiskey - https://www.thespruceeats.com/essent...cktails-761277

        Whiskey guide - https://www.thespruceeats.com/basic-...whiskey-759256

        But really... start here, it's 'The Ultimate Guide To Cocktails and covers bar tools etc too: https://www.thespruceeats.com/ultima...ktails-4155810


          Depends on how deep you want to go. I won't recommend certain types of spirits, unless you want that, as it is very taste specific. But as far as starting from scratch, I recommend the books or websites of Dale DeGroff or Jeffrey Morgenthaler. DeGroff is considered to have re-introduced classic bespoke cocktails, using fresh fruit and juice instead of bottled stuff, and his book is a classic with classic recipes. Morgenthaler is more about the art of the cocktail and how and why to do certain things. Why use a mixing glass vs. a shaker, how to dilute a drink properly, etc. More technique than anything.

          I don't have a recommendation for a recipe book or sites as that depends on the types of drinks you are interested in but I would recommend you start with the classics and then figure out where you want to go. But start with good base liquors (gin, tequila, rum and whiskey-rye is probably the best for mixing as I find most bourbons too sweet in mixed drinks), some fresh fruit (lime, lemon, oranges), some good mixers (tonic, club soda, ginger beer) and some bitters (angostura is pretty standard for most drinks) and you'll be in a good starting place.

          The things I listed above are pretty much the essentials for me and then you can expand based on what you want to make. Cointreau for a margarita, sweet or dry vermouth for martinis or Manhattans, fresh herbs like mint for a mojito or a whiskey smash or basil for a gin basil smash. Then if you get really into it, you'll have different types of gins or whiskeys for particular drinks. Right now, I probably have 3 types of gin and 2-3 bottles of whiskey (rye and bourbon) for mixing, plus a bunch of single malt scotches for drinking neat.

          Lastly, since you are talking about summer - I would say one of my favorite summer drinks and something that really shows the difference between a fresh made cocktail and bottled mix is a Tom Collins. Gin, fresh lemon juice, sugar and seltzer is perfect for the summer and a million times better made with fresh ingredients than mixing gin with bottled tom collins mix. Easy to make and very refreshing


            shify is right this questions kind of a bottomless pit....
            Years ago I took a bartending course and apart from the course drinks they teach you I brought a book called Mr. Boston Official Bartenders and Party Guide. Its an older print so the players and the game have changed but gives you basics.
            Many other like books out there on this subject and the internet is full idea's.
            One really up to date site is Food & Drink by the LCBO up here at: lcbo.com/foodanddrink.
            A great resource for all things new and trending in drinkology.
            I try to keep it simple with only one style of rye, rum, gin, vodka but try to make up for it by buying more upscale brands of spirits.
            Also mixers do make a difference, Coca Cola instead of "Cola" in Cuba Libre makes a huge difference, to me anyway.
            ****One important thing....Measure your shots, don't punt n pour,,,,if it says an ounce, pour an ounce....I don't know how many drinks people have ruined by piling on the booze!!!!
            If you want to get there fast....heroin....if you want a cold refreshing drink in the afternoon with friends pour drinks right.
            Last edited by smokin fool; March 7, 2021, 11:07 AM.


            • surfdog
              surfdog commented
              Editing a comment
              +1 on Mr. Boston...lots of classics in there.
              I also have a well worn copy of the Bartender’s Bible by Gary Regan. I think I’ve had my copy for 30 years. O_o

              I’m also going to agree with measurements. Especially in the beginning. Cocktails are a bit like baking; as much science as art. Get it wrong and it’s terrible. But once the basics are down, one can experiment.

            This is my cocktail book. It’s great, for everything, history, types of alcohol, recipes for cocktails. Is it overkill for me, yes, but it’s a book and fits nicely in my bar cabinet drawer. It’s smaller in size, but is nearly 500 pages.

            Click image for larger version

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              Richard Chrz I’m a couple months into doing the same thing. I have read all the books by Dale DeGroff, Richard Morgenthaler, David Wondrich, Jim Meehan on my iPad, and picked up some of the apps developed by Martin Dourdoroff (he’s got a few) and you can enter your inventory into one of the apps, that inventory migrates to all of his apps, and the apps can tell you what cocktails you can make based on what ingredients you have in your house. There is another app named Cocktail Flow that does the same inventory thing but it’s separate from the Dourdoroff apps. Until I make enough cocktails and learn, I just bring my iPad with me to where I make drinks and follow the directions.



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