Over the past couple years, I've slowly been building up a home bar, stocking all the liquor, mixers and tools I need to make my favorite cocktails. But the bar didn't feel complete until I got a trustworthy reference book, one that includes both classic drinks and modern interpretations — a book I could grow old with. The Mr. Boston Official Bartender's Guide is that book.I happen to own two copies of the guide: the recently-released 75th anniversary edition and a well-used 1961 edition given to me by my in-laws. While I love thumbing through the older edition and finding forgotten cocktails, it's the modern edition that I reach for when I'm in need of some guidance or inspiration. With over 1,500 recipes, there is no shortage of ideas, and because the drinks are organized by spirit, it is easy to find an interesting recipe for the components I have on hand.
The anniversary edition also includes recipes for modern mix-ins like ginger simple syrup, rhubarb syrup and homemade grenadine, as well as cocktail recipes and bartending tips from noted bartenders.
While I appreciate the convenience of looking up recipes on the Internet, having a book with a consistent style and point of view is important to me. Recipes for the same cocktail can vary wildly and making a choice is often a gamble; with Mr. Boston, I always trust the results will be tasty.
Anjali is a former private chef who is currently pursuing a graduate degree in nutrition, with plans to become a registered dietitian. She lives in Los Angeles. You can read more of her health-focused writing at Eat Your Greens.
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