Step 1: Order The New Old Bar.
Step 2: Wait to receive the book with great anticipation.
Step 3: After you get the book, stock your bar according to the book’s instruction.
Step 4: Make every drink, app, syrup, and infusion they have a recipe for STAT.
I have a new favorite instructional book (taking that spot from Three Black Skirts: All You Need to Survive, a guide for women that includes doing taxes, changing tires, etc.): THE NEW OLD BAR: Classic Cocktails and Salty Snacks from The Hearty Boys, by Steve McDonagh and Dan Smith. Apparently the authors of the book spent some time on one of the Food Network reality shows. Wherever they came from, they sure do know how to write a darn* good guidebook for winos.
This book … is a beauty. I received it in the mail before Christmas, but with the season as it is, was too busy to dive in until this week. I’ll say that I completely regret not cracking this bad boy open before the holidays. With recipes for more then 200 classic and some not-so-classic cocktails, liquor infusions, syrups, and 25 appetizers, it’s a jack-of-all-trades type of consumer’s handbook. The cocktail recipes harken back to a time when people made drinks the right way and the book makes the recipes simple enough for a novice bartender like me to not only tackle successfully, but sound like a well-marinated bartender at that.
Even better? It doesn’t just stop at recipes. Noooo siree bob. Along with beautiful photography (apparently snapped by Steve McDonagh), TNOB offers information about liquor basics, bar tools, ice, coctail-making techniques, etc.. Have you always wondered what a shrub is? They’ll tell ya … and tell you how to make them. Do you have a big wedding coming up and you are in charge of a toast? They have those, too … along with blessings and curses (you never know when you’ll need a good curse).
I had some girls over last night and made the Bees Knees (gin and lavender cocktail) and the cheese beer biscuits. Both were a hit, and from this week on, a party won’t pass without at least one item from this book being served. I think next on my list will be the Bison Grass Crusta and the bacon cashew brittle.
Buy one to keep in your bar at Barnes and Noble or on Amazon.com. For less than $13, it’d make a lovely gift for your favorite wino!