The latest cocktail guide to hit the shelves, en français, this year is a trilogy of recipe books based on gin, whisky and rhum, written by cocktail and spirits journalist, Laurence Marot, and Jules et Jim head bartender, Regis Célabe.
With Les Cocktails a base de Whisky, Gin or Rhum, Marot and Célabe have put together an ode to each of these that provides a mini crash course on the spirit itself, a collection of classics in which to use it, a small selection of special creations plus a notable guest bartender recipe. For example, the Rhum edition features 20 classics including the Daiquiri, Mai Tai or Between the Sheets as well as a guest recipe for Mabel’s Swizzle from Joseph Akhavan of Mabel (the city’s best rum bar!)
The idea behind these three books is to make it easy for the home bartender to incorporate their favorite alcohol into chic drinks without too much fuss and muss. Unlike a lot of today’s recipes that include everything but the kitchen sink (an infused and fat-washed kitchen sink, mind you!), the Les Cocktails a base de… collection generally uses a max of 3 to 4 ingredients that the average person is more likely to have on hand, or at least be able to find easily. Say you’re thirsty for gin and want something simple and sexy? The Garden Martini – recipe featured below – may slate that thirst. (I also have a little crush on the whisky based Japanese Seduction.)
When recipes involve something more unusual (like the cardamom bitters in the Garden Martini) the book offers the tip search online or head to the specialist spirits shops to find it. Or if the recipes move beyond just a handful of ingredients, they’re still manageable like the Punk Punch. While this perky little punch requires ten ingredients, they’re all easy enough to get your hands on like white port, gin or lemongrass. Plus it’s worth the extra initial effort, as once done you’ve got a whole bowl of punch to last a few hours and fuel several guests with something refreshing on a warm summer evening.
Each edition also has a short synopsis of the basics on bar techniques and tools, making this a good choice for lovers of these particular liquors looking to start mixing with them and setting up a beginning home bar.
The books are sold individually at 12.95 Euros, or a little less for the Kindle versions on amazon.
And, we wonder if the future holds Cocktails a base de vodka, tequila or something else…. ?
-3 basil leaves
-2cl Lillet blanc
-3 drops to cardamom bitters**
In a mixing glass place slightly crushed basil leaves, Lillet blanc, gin and cardamom bitters. Fill with ice and stir for several seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a basil leaf. Enjoy!
**find cardamom bitters online or in specialist spirits shops.
*recipe reprinted with authors’ permission