Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cocktail Culture

Just a quick post to express my excitement at receiving my very own copy of Dale DeGroff’s The Essential Cocktail. After discovering the “Blood and Sand” (equal parts blended scotch, cherry Heering, sweet vermouth, and orange juice) in the Great White North, I knew I had to get this book. It’s a great mix of recipes and history and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves classic cocktails. This new bible comes on the heels of being supremely disappointed by the drinks at The Burritt Room in the Crescent Hotel. I had been hoping for a new Bourbon and Branch (who had me at their cucumber gimlet), but, sadly, the cocktails at The Burritt Room were more creative than tasty. DeGroff’s recipes are a great antidote to places that aspire to be part of the new cocktail culture, but try just a bit too hard.

In other book news, I also received my outstanding order of two Penguin Classic clothbound designs by Coralie Bickford-Smith. Originally designed for Waterstone’s in the UK, these editions are simply gorgeous and, priced at under $15 at Amazon, a great addition to any library.

5 comments:

EcoMeg said...

I learn something new every time I read one of your pieces - for instance, I had never heard of Heering before, much less cherry Heering. And now I want some.

Sylvie said...

It's actually Peter Heering Cherry Heering. I hadn't heard of it either, but the friend I visited Labor Day weekend asked me to bring some since it's impossible to find in Toronto. He then made the above-mentioned Blood and Sand as well as Singapore Slings. The next day was Crème de Violette night and we had Violet Fizzes and the Aviation.

Oddly enough, while visiting wineries with another friend in the area, I was explaining that I had had to pack an unusual liquor and she immediately knew I meant Cherry Heering--apparently her father brings some every time he visits from Brazil!

cthawth said...

How funny - I was in Barnes and Noble on Monday actually looking for a classic cocktail book. They seemed either too hip and flashy, or too limited. I hear Gary Regan has a good one out, but they didn't have it. I'll certainly be checking out this one -- thanks!

I'm guessing you may have read some Kingsley Amis ("Lucky Jim" was his best known novel) already, but just in case, I have to recommend "Everyday Drinking", a combination of comic prose and classic cocktail recipes. Hilarious, even if a tad dated and male-oriented.

(when we finally meet up in the city, we'll have to do so at the B&B -- love it, but haven't been in a long time!)

Sylvie said...

I think everyone in academia has read at least one Kingsley Amis (and David Lodge), but I've now added "Everyday Drinking" to my Goodreads TBR list.

(Note: Conveniently, I live about 5 blocks from B&B.)

SWK said...

Great post. Just discovered a lovely new place to imbibe up in our neck of the woods. It's a gastropub called Lot No 3. Had a delightful cocktail called the Corpse Revivor - gin, Cointreau, Lillet blanc, absinthe - mmm!