Memorial Weekend is here and we have some deliciously fun cocktail book reviews and recipes to last you through the summer with mixes you have to try! Our Housewares Department Manager, Mary Burnett suggested this blog post and hand selected these books for you to consider. Mary has great taste when it comes to all things housewares which is why we are excited to share her selection with you.
Whether you’re lounging by the pool, cooking over a grill, or relaxing in the hammock, you need a great drink. And with Summer Cocktails, Marta del Mar Sacasa and Tara Striano will help you discover your favorite fair-weather friends, from Peachy Keen Punch to Ginger-Lemongrass Piña Colada. Summer Cocktails features more than 100 seasonal recipes for punches and pitchers, frosty drinks, classics and throwbacks, and more. Craft your beverages from the bottom up with underpinnings straight from your summer garden, including Strawberry-Rosemary Shrub, Rhubarb Syrup, or Tomatillo and Coriander Tequila. Plus, round out the perfect party with savory snacks to match your cool drinks. Cheers!
Two great recipes featured in the book to try:
Shirley Temple – Non Alcoholic
- 3 ounces ginger ale
- 3 ounces lemon-lime soda
- Dash of grenadine
- Ice cubes
Maraschino cherry, for garnish
Combine ginger ale, lemon-lime soda, and grenadine in an ice-filled glass and stir gently to combine. Garnish with cherry and serve.
Keep these in the freezer for an afternoon delight, or slip them into a glass of crisp prosecco at your next party; they’ll add flavor and keep drinks cool.
- 2 cups fresh blueberries, divided
- ½ cup Lemon Syrup
- 2 cups prosecco, chilled
Pulse 1 cup blueberries, syrup, and prosecco in a blender until blueberries are broken down. Add the remaining 1 cup blueberries and pulse once or twice, just break them up slightly.
Pour ¼ cup prosecco mixture into each 16 (3-ounce) disposable cups. Arrange cups on a small sheet tray and place in freezer. Check the pops after 30 minutes; once they begin to freeze, insert pop sticks. Freeze until pops are solid.
Let pops sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes and then gently remove them from cups. Serve immediately.
Serving tray options:
“Don’t mind if I do . . .” Welcome to one of the South’s most cherished traditions, the cocktail hour. This charming volume overflows with Southern spirit with classics like the Mint Julep and the Hurricane to new concoctions like the Blueberry Martini and the Peach Mojito, each drink is as relaxing as a riverboat ride down the Mississippi. A checklist of Bar Necessities ensures that there will be more than Southern Comfort in the cupboard when company calls, and recipes like Devilish Eggs or Sweet and Sassy Pecans will keep hunger at bay until dinner. Raise a toast to old-time Southern hospitality.
Two of the great recipes featured in the book to try:
This cocktail pays homage to France’s two powerful weapons – guns and champagne. The French 75mm field gun was a hit overseas during World War I, with American soldiers returning home to praise the small cannon’s success in battle. By around 1920, a drink with the same name began to surface in New Orleans’ French Quarter. You’ll find this to be a sublimely elegant drink, especially when served in vintage champagne glasses.
- 2 ounces gin or brandy
- ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons simple syrup
- 2/3 cup dry champagne, chilled
Put the gin, lemon juice, and syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add ice cubes and shake vigorously. Strain the mixture into 2 champagne flutes. Add the champagne and garnish (if using) just before serving.
The Ultimate Margarita
- 1 lime wedge
- Kosher salt on a small plate
- 1 ½ ounces premium silver tequila
- 1 ounce Cointreau liqueur
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
- About 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
- 1 to 2 lime wedges, plush more for garnish
Fill a cocktail shaker with about 1 ½ cups crushed ice and add the tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, and sugar. Shake vigorously to blend and chill.
Fill the prepared salt rimmed glasses with ice cubes. Strain the shaken mixture into the glass. Squeeze 1 or 2 lime wedges into the drink, depending on personal preference. Drop the lime wedges into the drink and serve. Add more lime wedges to garnish.
A Craft Cocktail book for the rest of us by the top female mixologist in the country.
Julie Reiner, the co-owner of The Clover Club in Brooklyn and The Flatiron Lounge in Manhattan, has written a book that provides inspiration for the rest of us, not only the cocktail geeks. She wants to balance the needs of the everyday drinker with those of the passionate mixologist.
Recipes are organized around seasonality and occasion, with different events and themes appropriate to the specific time of the year. Each section will include a mixture of holiday-inspired drinks, classic cocktails, and innovative new drinks, all along with fun cocktail lore. Tricks, tips, and techniques–such as batching and infusions, tools of the trade, notes on spirit types, and easy substitutions to utilize what you already have on hand–will round out the amazing amount of information in Reiner’s book.
One of the great recipes featured in the book to try:
According to the book, while this drink is traditionally made with vodka, the beauty of the mule is that the formula works with any spirit.
- 2 ounces vodka (Stoli is recommended)
- ¾ ounce ginger syrup
- ¾ ounce lime juice
- Club soda
Vanilla-and-hickory smoked Manhattan, anyone? Bar Chef is a cocktail lounge on Queen Street West in Toronto. Dedicated to the art and science of the cocktail, its beauty lies in the colours and details behind the bar–from apothecary jars filled with bitters and syrups to bell jars and 100-pound blocks of ice. Owner Frankie Solarik holds court in his fedora, chipping ice, talking to patrons (a mix of rockers, hipsters, business people, locals and celebrities) and enjoying his craft thoroughly. Solarik is a leading figure of the global cocktail renaissance. His book, The Bar Chef, explores the importance of engaging all the senses when creating modernist cocktails. Depth and balance–the ideas behind great wines, and great food and wine pairings–are vital to a magnificent drink. Chapters detail the elements of the set-up, the art and craft of mixology and, of course, include recipes for syrups, infusions, bitters and the cocktails themselves. A chapter for non-alcoholic drinks rounds out the book.
This book is aimed at adventurous mixologists, enthusiasts who want to hone their skills and taste, and who want to experience something of Solarik’s genius at home. This book is neither comprehensive nor “general.” Rather, it is a carefully curated sampling of Solarik’s creations, featuring recipes that are challenging but achievable, and oh so delicious.
One of the great recipes featured in the book to try:
This cocktail is an awesome combination of heat (the pepper), acidity (the lemon) and herbaceousness (the mint).
Makes 1 serving
- 1 ½ ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 ¾ ounces vanilla syrup
- ¼ ounce coconut and cardamom bitters
- 1 ¾ ounce vodka
- 2 leaves fresh mint, to garnish
In shaker, combine lemon juice, vanilla syrup, coconut and cardamom bitters, and vodka. Muddle. Add ice and shake to chill. Strain over ice in prepared highball glass, being careful not to disrupt the rim. Garnish with mint leaves.
In addition to the recipes featured in these great books, be sure to also consider this recipe shared by Reed & Barton:
And don’t forget to keep these bar necessities close:
- Bottle/can opener
- Citrus juicer
- Cocktail napkins
- Cocktail shaker
- Cutting board and paring knife
- Ice bucket/tongs
- Serving trays
Good looking decanter options:
Cheers to a beautiful Memorial Day Weekend!