The first half of May 2014 was a wild one for New York City. May 5 saw the annual James Beard Foundation Awards and all its post-gala debauchery; May 12 was the re-opening party of the revamped Tavern on the Green; and May 9-13 was the annual Manhattan Cocktail Classic. If you happened to attend all three, it’s likely that your liver is begging you to slow down, while your head is hoping to hit the pillow for longer than a few hours at a time.
The Cocktail Lab: Unraveling the Mysteries of Flavor and Aroma in Drink, with Recipes
By Tony Conigliaro
(Ten Speed Press, 2013)
The Chemistry of Cocktails
When it comes to instructional books, we often hear the word “art” thrown around — the art of filleting a fish, the art of screenwriting, the art of whittling — but not many are quite as literal as molecular mixology master Tony Conigliaro’s The Cocktail Lab. Not only is the book’s presentation an aesthetic delight, from the retro cover with metallic accents to the clean layout of text and illustration, but each photo is a still-life portrait of the featured cocktail, making it almost as delicious to consume visually.
For the last few years, we’ve been noticing large, spherical ice rounds in craft cocktails. They’re impressive looking, so at first we assumed they served a purely decorative function. Pioneered by Tokyo’s avant-garde bartenders, the round stuff actually does more than dress up your drink.
If a tropical retreat is not in your near future, you can still pretend you’re in paradise with help from the new cocktail book “Liquid Vacation: 77 Refreshing Tropical Drinks from Frankie’s Tiki Room in Las Vegas.”