Cocktail making is quite the craft these days. It’s a balancing act between herbs, spices, fruit, spirits and carbonated liquids. The right balance and you have the perfect cocktail that will really make your evening and can become your new signature drink. The wrong – well you might be down $10 or more dollars if you happened to be enjoying this drink out instead of at home.
In the past year I’ve come to love the art and craft of cocktail making and enjoying a craft cocktail when I’m out and about. There’s quite the renaissance these days, it’s no longer your standard Manhattan or Old Fashioned. Something is different about it and I like that.
Insert the new book The Best Craft Cocktails & Bartending with Flair by Jeremy LeBlanc, head mixologist of Altitude Sky Lounge. This book describes itself as ‘an incredible collection of extraordinary drinks’.
I don’t disagree, there are certainly a number of drinks I have never heard of or concoctions I would have never dreamt up.
This paperback book is divided into 7 chapters:
- The aperitif: To Open the Senses
- Classics With a Twist
- Exotic Cocktails
- Parties & Punches
- Syrups, Mixes & Foams
- Tips & Tricks of the Trade
Each cocktail is preceded with a small description of either the history and what to except in the flavor profile of the drink. About every third page is followed with a large, beautiful color photograph of the drink on the opposite page. I find cocktails beautiful to photograph and some of the pictures really are stunning between layers in the drinks or fresh fruits and herbs.
The author is quite specific on what brand they prefer for each recipe, which is great if you own a bar but not such an easy task for your home. I happened to have the brand of bitters mentioned for my recipe but the choice of vodka in my moscow mule was what I had at home. Jeremy says his reasoning for being specific is because there are so many amazing small-batch spirits that he loves. What he lists is more of a guide to expanding your spirits profile.
Choosing what cocktail to make wasn’t easy, there were a number of additional spirits needed that I didn’t have at home (I guess my bar isn’t as well stocked as I thought?). However it finally came down to a bourbon based drink in the Exotic Cocktail chapter or the Moscow Mule. Obviously you can see what won. I choose the moscow mule for a few reasons 1)I wanted to add a vodka-based drink here for you to enjoy and 2)I’ve seen versions of the moscow mule floating around recently as an ode to the Sochi Olympics and I really wanted to try it out!
- 2 thin slices of ginger, plus 1 for garnish
- 3 cherries (the book recommends uxardo brand), plus 1 or 2 for garnish
- 2 dashes aromatic bitters
- 2oz vodka
- ¼oz fresh lime juice
- 3oz ginger beer
- In a dry tin shaker, muddle the two slices of ginger with cherries, bitters and vodka.
- You know you've muddled appropriately when ginger fills the nostril.
- Strain and pour into a well-chilled copper mug (or a rocks glass) half full of ice.
- Squeeze lime juice and top with ginger beer.
- Garnish with lime wheel, cherries and ginger.
- Makes 1 cocktail.
Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of The Best Craft Cocktails. All opinions stated are my own, no compensation was provided. This post contains affiliate links – which means if you click the link and purchase something through Amazon I get a small percentage to help me with blog related costs.