Sub Category: Cocktail Books
Published: March 2021
Written by Jake F Burger
“Those of you that know me may be aware that the history of drinking cocktails and mixed drinks in particular, is a topic that has long fascinated me. I’m not quite sure when it started, maybe it is a product of my career, an inevitable consequence of writing two decades of cocktail menus, or the need to demonstrate some brand knowledge during my successful years as a competition bartender…”
So starts the card written by Jake Burger that accompanied the copy of An Anthology of 12 Class Cocktails I was kindly sent. I first met Jake some 20 years ago when he was behind the stick at Townhouse Bar in Leeds. He was a bloody clever and knowledgeable sod then and two decades worth of reading and bar-related travel later, he not only still makes great cocktails but has also produced a well-researched, useful, and very readable tome.
The headline "12 classic cocktails" the book covers are:
As you’d anticipate of such a book, the history of each of these classics is recounted but these are intersected with Jake’s perspective and commentary. For example, in the chapter on the Martini, after several paragraphs covering the neo-martinis of the 90s “served in half-pint Martini glasses”, he adds, “Recent times have seen the resurgence of a more classically styled Martini. Vermouth has long been welcomed back into the fold, if not always as an equal partner to the gin or vodka, then certainly in greater proportion than what we saw in the late twentieth century, and the green olive or the lemon twist being now the only vegetable matter in the glass. The glass itself has returned to a more manageable size, although the half-pint Martini is still occasionally spotted in the wild.”
Jake may be an accomplished distiller and now a writer but he remains proudly a bartender so also offers “Then” and “Now” recipes for each cocktail. Of most interest is his version of each “now”. And anticipating that you may have your own way of doing it “now”, each chapter ends with blank notes pages so you can also add your say.
This book was made possible by the good folk at UK spirit distributors, Hi-Spirits, and their fine range of products subtly dot the book without this appearing a brand promotional piece. My thanks to Hi-Spirits, and to Jake for adding me to such a highfalutin list of names.
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