I am an immediate fan of any book that can simultaneously make me laugh and make me thirsty. Illustrated with pictures of seals sunning themselves with mint juleps in hand (in flipper?) and cats making snide remarks about your state of tipsiness, this book is bound to travel from my home bar to my coffee table and back again many times over.
• Who wrote it: Orr Shtuhl and Illustrated by Elizabeth Graeber
• Who published it: Gotham Books
• Number of recipes: 50
• Recipes for right now: Vesper (gin + vodka + Lillet Blanc), Cherry Bounce (bourbon + cherries + sugar), French 75 (gin + lemon juice + simple syrup + champagne), Hanky Panky (gin + sweet vermouth + Fernet Branca), Zombie (rum, lots of it)
• Other highlights: If you are just getting into cocktails (like me!), I think this book is a a great place to start. The fun and funny illustrations got me really excited to try these classic cocktails and it was fascinating to read the history and stories behind them. Sometimes I can get lost in all the fancy variations and sparkly modern twists on cocktails, so I'm finding it really nice to have this as a resource. The sections on subjects like "How to Like Gin" and "How to Drink at a Wedding (2-Ingredient Cocktails)" are also a good combination of humorous and practical.
The illustrations also gave me a very different kind of cookbook reading experience — one that I really liked for this slim and handy volume. Looking at the drawings made me engage with the recipes in a different way, taking in a bit of the drink's history as illustrated on the page, a bit of the ingredients going into it, and a bit of a visceral experience of making and drinking it...along with a healthy dose of Elizabeth Graeber's individual style of absurdity.
I give this book a big ol' thumbs up. It's a fun and useful addition to my growing collection of cocktail books.
• Who would enjoy this book? New cocktail drinkers, in particular, though longtime cocktail fans will definitely get a kick out of the stories and drawings.
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: An Illustrated Guide to Cocktails by Orr Shtuhl and Illustrated by Elizabeth Graeber
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.
(Images: Emma Christensen)