Saturday, December 31, 2016

Review: "A Proper Drink" by Robert Simonson

Image result for a proper drink simonsonA Proper Drink tells the story of "the contemporary craft cocktail revival" in more than 300 dense pages. The story weaves through 36 chapters, many of which feature at least one cocktail recipe. The recipes go beyond the ingredients to include background information such as the year, place, and person involved in the creation.

The book also includes an extensive index, which I think is very useful. I think many readers may be more inclined to seek out a chapter on their favorites, rather than reading cover to cover.

Personally, I enjoyed reading about the Aviary in Chicago and the Trident cocktail. One of my friends told me of her visit to the Aviary and the incredible cocktails she saw served there. I never tried it myself, but still hope to someday. The Trident cocktail contains aquavit, which is an alcohol of particular interest for me and my husband after we learned about linet aquavit, the liquor that travels around the world before being sold.

However, I found much of the book dry and unengaging. I guess the expected audience (bartenders?) would be much more enthusiastic about the history and people. I was hoping for lighter snippets of stories combined with recipes. As is, the cocktails are on the complicated side as far as ingredients and require a well-stocked bar.

I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books, but was not required to write a positive review.