Sub Category: Cocktail Books
Brad Thomas Parsons
Published: December 2011
Publisher Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.
For the home cocktail maker, Salvatore Calabrese’s Classic Cocktails is a very approachable easy to follow tome with 206 easy to follow cocktail recipes. As the title suggests, these are mostly house-hold name drinks that have stood the test of decades to become enduring classics.
Salvatore, or “Maestro” as he likes to be known, also includes 27 of his own creations, but at least two of these – the Breakfast Martini and his “Dry (or Direct) Martini”, are already classics in their own right, such has been his influence on modern day bartending.
The seasoned professional bartender will find few drinks they are not already familiar with but are sure to be interested in Salvatore’s take on both classic recipe specs and his brief synopsis detailing each of their origins. Observant cocktail enthusiasts will also be impressed not only by the quality of the photography, but also the impressive line-up of glassware, vintage bottles and bar accessories appropriate to each drink assembled from Salvatore’s impressive personal collection.
Rightly the recipes kick off with “The Original Martini Recipe” but before this, over 75 pages, subjects such as glassware, techniques, great bartenders and indeed the cocktail shaker itself are covered.
My only criticism is of the publisher, given the breadth of this content and quality of photography, this book cries out for a larger format than its 256 page, little bigger than pocket size (21.3 x 13.2 x 2.3 cm). That said at sub-£15, it is good value for money and is sure to top the over one million copy sales of previous editions.