One of my favorite food books published in 2014 was Shake: A New Perspective on Cocktails. From creators of the Mason Shaker and other bar accessories, Eric Prum and Josh Williams, authored a beautiful, accessible book on cocktails. It lives up to its name as a “new perspective” via a variety of seasonal drinks made from whole foods that are commonly found in stores or even your own garden. There are no rare pre-made mixes or highly processed foods in the recipes. As they state, “We believe wholeheartedly that the idea of eating locally and seasonally should apply to cocktails just as it applies to cooking.” This philosophy is evident in each recipe.
While we’re not heavy drinkers, Josh and I both enjoy a solid mixed drink or great beer (Trappistes, anyone?!) from time to time. We almost always drink at home as we’re too cheap to pay the cost of drinks at restaurants and bars, unless it’s a special occasion. And I’ll often include a coordinating cocktail into the dinner menu when having guests over. It’s easy to choose what goes well with the menu as the drinks are organized by season and there is easy recognition of ingredients that pair well with the other food I’m preparing.
The “cocktail crafting 101” is valuable in developing a stock of delicious liquor, equipment and bar vernacular. The entire tone of the book fits into their statement that “cocktails should be fun, simple and social.” It reads like a conversation with educated friends.
The photography is clean and appealing while keeping a down to earth visage. Each recipe has an overhead shot of all the components to give you a quick read on the flavor components of the drink. The photos of the prepared drinks make them look irresistible and many one ingredient and “action” shots are included.
This book, coupled with the mason shaker makes for a perfect celebration or “just because” gift for a friend, colleague, and family member. Or yourself. I won’t judge.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.