Read to the bottom of the post for a chance to win a free copy of the book!
I’m not a big drinker beyond the occasional glass of wine with dinner, or a gin and tonic while out and about. Pre-gluten intolerance I was a Guinness girl – I’d slowly nurse my stout while watching soccer in a sports bar. Beyond that, though, drinking was never my “thing.” In fact, drunk people annoy the hell out of me.
So if you think about it, it makes sense that I hadn’t really thought to pick up a book on mixing cocktails.
A few weeks ago I received a copy of Mix Shake Stir: Recipes from Danny Meyer’s Acclaimed New York City Restaurants from Hachette, the book’s publisher. If you’re not familiar with Danny Meyer, he owns several of New York’s most notable eating (and apparently, drinking) establishments, such as the Gramercy Tavern and Union Square Cafe. He’s also published a few popular books, including NYT bestseller Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business.
Since I don’t subscribe to the party-hardy doctrine anymore, it was going to take a lot for a mixology book to impress me. After an initial flip-through, though, one thing was clear: this gorgeous book is more than a drink-mixing text, it’s a visually stunning display of cocktail art. I ogled the huge colorful images, while my graphic designer husband marveled at the layout and typeface. I already mentioned that I’m not a drinker, but this book sure made me want a cocktail… and a cigarette afterwards.
Almost every recipe has its own sexy, full-colored page, complete with a full-size photograph. The beautiful images really enticed me to try the recipes, which is a lot more than I can say for almost every other cocktail book I’ve ever read.
Ok, enough of the visuals. On to the drinks.
Mix Shake Stir is divided into eight chapters, which split drinks into sections based on their overall category:
- “Favorite Classics” contains just that, a series of drinks that your grandfather probably sipped long before you were born. Think back to the Old Fashioned, Jack Rose, and Pink Lady.
- “New Classics” add a modern twist to many drinks that have been popular for ages. I found this section to be the most enticing, with tasty titles like Piña Limonada and Heirloom Bloody Mary.
- “Inspired Flavors” tries to be daring by combining new flavors with the intention of making an impact. Many of the cocktails that appear in this chapter have sly, enigmatic names, such as “Grey Gardens” and “Glass Slipper.” These drinks seem a lot more ambiguous than inspiring – what exactly is a “Payback” anyway? – but in the end I was intrigued.
- “Elegant Sips” are the cocktails you’d expect to find at a chi-chi hipster bar, or perhaps served on the veranda at the Four Seasons. These recipes involve all sorts of uppity ingredients, such as champagne and flower-flavored liqueurs, and my snoot-alarm went off while deciding which to make. Despite my aversion to haughty cocktails, how could I resist a Lemon-Thyme Margarita? Or a 23 Skidoo?
- “Casual Libations” is your party chapter. If you’re entertaining a crowd or just want something to sip at a picnic, this section has all sorts of lovely recipes to wet your collective whistle. I was won over by the Kentucky Cream and Blood Orange Margarita, while the Kumquat Mojito and Spiked Arnold Palmer are on my must-try list.
- “Bar Fare” takes your standard, everyday pub grub to a new level. I mean, come on – spicy Thai Trail Mix? Black Truffle Popcorn? Hot Garlic Potato Chips? Cripes… who says bar food can’t be sexy?
Win a Copy of Mix Shake Stir
To celebrate this gorgeous summer cocktail weather, I’m giving away three copies of the book, compliments of Little Brown and Hachette Book Group. It’s easy to enter the drawing – all you have to do is subscribe to the Wasabimon mailing list. I promise not to spam you or sell your email addresses. In fact, the only emails you’ll get are notifications of new posts.
To join, either click the link in the left-hand sidebar that says “Subscribe by email” or just click here to add yourself to the list. Then leaving a comment here letting me know you joined.
Note: subscribing is a two-part process. Once you enter your email address, you’ll get a confirmation email in your mailbox. In order to complete the subscription process and enter the drawing, you need to follow the directions in the confirmation email and click the link it contains.
If you’re already on the mailing list and want to enter the contest, just leave comments on three posts somewhere on this blog and then comment here saying where you wrote something.
I’ll announce three winners on Monday, August 10th. Good luck!