Read an Excerpt
You will not find the usual thousand-and-one cocktail recipes in this book. Instead, I have compiled five hundred diverse recipes that strike me as more than sufficient. However, because this book is intended as a reference for bartenders, it naturally includes the best-known indispensable international cocktail recipes.
Here and there I have slightly revised some of the recipes I compiled in Schumann's Bar Book and Tropical Bar Book. And once again I have retested many standard recipes and occasionally changed them. I always work with certain questions in mind: How much is too much in a cocktail? What does it not need? What makes it harmonious? In other words, I always keep in mind the classic three parts of a cocktail: the basis, the modifier, and the flavoring agent.
Browsing through cocktail books, I am often horrified to see recipes calling for an excessive amount of syrups and liqueurs. Sometimes just reading the list of ingredients can make me feel queasy!
In addition, there are a few classic cocktail recipes that I have not included, because I am firmly opposed to the practice of mixing certain spirits. For reasons I explain later, I would never combine gin and vodka, gin and whiskey, vodka and whiskey, gin and brandy, or vodka and brandy.
Because this book is intended for the bartender as well as the general reader, it contains more than just cocktail recipes. I have written also about the bar in general, including bar equipment and cocktails. And a substantial part of the book gives information about the individual components of cocktails, which I consider particularly important. Of course many different interpretations can be found inspecialized books in this field. My colleague Stefan Gabanyi and the journalist Karl Rudolf contributed significantly in resolving questions and problems I faced while writing this chapter.
I hope that our efforts have resulted in a readable and informative overview of the components of classic cocktail mixing.