It's time to choose our first-ever cocktail COTM. Of four nominated books, two emerged as our contenders (you can see how it shook out in the nomination thread here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1013776).
Our choices come down to two voluminous collections, both of which promise to make us experts behind the home bar (as well as in front of it).
THE CRAFT OF THE COCKTAIL: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW TO BE A MASTER BARTENDER, WITH 500 RECIPES, by Dale DeGroff:
"Cocktails are bigger than ever, and this is the first real cookbook for them, covering the entire breadth of this rich subject. The Craft of the Cocktail provides much more than merely the same old recipes: it delves into history, personalities, and anecdotes; it shows you how to set up a bar, master important techniques, and use tools correctly; and it delivers unique concoctions, many featuring Dale DeGroff’s signature use of fresh juices, as well as all the classics. ... It begins with the history of spirits, how they’re made (but without too much boring science), the development of the mixed drink, and the culture it created, all drawn from Dale’s vast library of vintage cocktail books. Then on to stocking the essential bar, choosing the right tools and ingredients, mastering key techniques—hints worthy of a pro, the same information that Dale shares with the bartenders he trains in seminars and through his videos. And then the meat of the matter: 500 recipes, including everything from tried-and-true classics to of-the-moment originals...." http://www.amazon.com/Craft-Cocktail-...
DEATH & CO.: MODERN CLASSIC COCKTAILS, WITH MORE THAN 500 RECIPES, by David Kaplan and Nick Fauchald:
"The definitive guide to the contemporary craft cocktail movement, from one of the highest-profile, most critically lauded, and influential bars in the world. ... Destined to become a definitive reference on craft cocktails, Death & Co features more than 500 of the bar’s most innovative and sought-after cocktails. But more than just a collection of recipes, Death & Co is also a complete cocktail education, with information on the theory and philosophy of drink making, a complete guide to buying and using spirits, and step-by-step instructions for mastering key bartending techniques. Filled with beautiful, evocative photography; illustrative charts and infographics; and colorful essays about the characters who fill the bar each night; Death & Co—like its namesake bar—is bold, elegant, and setting the pace for mixologists around the world." http://www.amazon.com/Death-Co-Classi...
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