(This book has a matte cover! I love the feel of matte covers!)
Shake: A New Perspective on Cocktails is co-written by Eric Prum and Josh Williams, the co-creators of the mason jar cocktail shaker. They emphasize high-quality ingredients over quantity of ingredients, and none of the cocktails had more than 5 steps to follow.
So many positives to this cocktail recipe book! First, before you even open the book, you feel the lovely matte cover. I love matte covers. I love the minimalist layout of the pages, too. Just look at that beautiful cover!
Shake opens with a few pages talking about bar basics. There are 12 "standard" spirits the guys recommend (that's totally doable) and then they also recommend a few styles of stemware/glassware to have on hand. I ended up trying four different cocktails from the book, and only had to buy one ingredient: rosemary sprigs. That's awesome. The book is subdivided by season, which is fun. I don't want to be anything less than thorough in reviewing my books, so over the course of three weeks I tried one cocktail from each season. ;)
For Fall, I tried the Rosemary Maple Bourbon Sour. I think this was my favorite. It was warm and slightly sweet and very sour and very me. I think it's safe to say that bourbon is our fave liquor. And this was my first time making a sour without sour mix. I liked knowing where the sour came from (lemons) versus the probably chemical-filled sour mix. I think this is the cocktail pictured on the front of the book.
For Winter, I tried the Mid-Winter Marg. It's a grapefruit margarita but here's the twist: the glass is rimmed with a mixture of dried crushed chili peppers and salt! Zing! I thought it was delicious, and definitely warming.
(My Mid-Winter Marg, happily consumed in mid-autumn.)
For Spring, I tried the Blackberry Fence Hopper. Isn't that a fun name? It was a great drink. This one will join my repertoire of faves, but with a slight modification. According to Shake, you combine liquor, lemon juice, honey, and muddled berries in a shaker and pour over ice, then top off with seltzer water. I'm not usually a fan of layered drinks. It feels like you're drinking pure seltzer for a bit then-wham-hit the hard/good stuff. So I think in the future I'd give the drink a good stir at the end.
(My Blackberry Fence Hopper. Fun to say, and pretty to look at!)
To round out the "year," I tried the Summer Frenchie. This cocktail has rose wine as it's base, plus fruit. Light and refreshing.
As I mentioned, I liked the short and reasonable ingredients lists. I had fun experimenting and learning new cocktails. And I enjoyed the short vignettes in each chapter where the guys talked about favorite activities. For example, in Spring they talk about attending the horse races and in Winter they share a glance inside their workshop. Beyond practical, this cocktail recipe book is also full of beautiful photographs and interesting info.
*I received my copy of Shake from the publisher. Thank you!