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I guess my 18/7 work schedule is going to my head. Last week I talked about a documentary film about beer and today I'm talking cocktails. This makes me laugh because, as I've said before, I generally drink red wine or scotch. Oh well, a woman's got to relax sometime when she's working long hours.
Brian D. Murphy's See Mix Drink is a fun and easy-to-use cocktail book that is all about the visuals. Printed on glossy, color-coded pages with fun graphics, this book will have you mixing up a refreshing adult beverage in no time.
In a few short introductory chapters, Murphy explains how to use the book, suggests bar ware and equipment, and describes the spirits that make up the base of the recipes. Then we get to the heart of See Mix Drink, which is the recipes for classic cocktails and modern drinks, divided by alcohol: brandy, champagne, gin, rum, tequila, vodka, whiskey, and liqueurs. The book concludes with two indexes, one by cocktail name and the other by calories.
It's difficult to describe the layout of the book, so I decided to use a illustration. The recipe I scanned is from pages 120-121 and is for the Brave Bull (shown at the right below). (My scanner bed is a little small and cut off the name of the drink, but all other elements are shown.)
My scan doesn't do the page justice; in the book, the type is clear and the icons and colors are fun and cheerful. But from the image (click to enlarge), you can see that all it takes is a glance to determine how to make the drink, the shape and size of the glass, the calories, and the time required to make it. In addition, each recipe includes a photo of the finished drink, a brief description, and a pronunciation key. Tequila is coded yellow, and each spirit has its own shade, so you know immediately what chapter you're in. Fun, yes?
The taste tests: Both Mr. BFR and I thought the cocktails we tried were delicious. The blends were nicely balanced and not too sweet. We aren't giving up our wineglass for a highball glass any time soon but we're happy to have a book we can turn to for a festive occasion or whenever we want to try something a bit different. By the way, the other other drink I photographed is a Kamikaze, made of vodka, triple sec, and lime juice. Cheers!
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Published by Hachette Group / Little. Brown, 2011
Source: giveaway win (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)