The American Cocktail - Your Drinks Just Got a Serious Upgrade

I don't know if you've noticed, but there's a cocktail revolution going on right now, and you should definitely join in

The American Cocktail by the editors of the incredibly awesome Imbibe Magazine, shows that there is so much more to life than a Vodka 7, G&T and Rye & Coke. If you're still ordering those drinks, you desperately need this book. If you're like me, and just starting to conquer the more sophisticated cocktails, this will take you out of the negroni/manhattan/old fashioned ennui that is starting to unfold.

Recipes traverse both coasts and offer up both easy-to-access as well as more complicated ingredients and instructions - you choose what suits you, your mood and your palate.

What I love about this book is that despite owning many a cocktail bible, many of the drinks listed here weren't available in my other tomes. I am excited to try Across the Board as the signature drink at my next dinner party - bourbon, strawberries and balsamic vinegar? People might just never leave after such a stunning concoction. And I think Escape From Alcatraz might just be my new favourite after work cocktail. A little fresh ginger, rye whiskey, Cointreau and lemon? That will keep any colds and flus well outta my range.

And there are little things throughout the book that I truly appreciate - recipes for intriguing mixes such as Prickly Pear Syrup, Sour Mix and Sage Lemonade, and I'm going to make Lu's Brandied Cherries this week so that I can finally enjoy cherries in my drink without the harmful chemical side effects of those you get at the grocery store.

The one thing this book most certainly does is make you up your game - you're going to have to go out to your supermarket and liquor store and ask for things you've never heard of and don't know what section they'd be in. Also, you're going to have to start stocking more than just your supermarket variety Angostura bitters (I thought we were doing well with 5, but I'm missing a ton to make these superb libations).

But it will be worth it. Oh so worth it. Take the Verde Maria, for instance. With her jalapeno, red onion, avocado, tomatillos and cilantro mixed in with tequila and lager, or the Persimmon Margarita, complete with cinnamon salt and persimmon puree, you'll be leagues ahead of your mates that are still sipping on bar rail liquor watered down with sugary pops and juices.

Step up your game right now with The American Cocktail. After all, you're a smart cookie. It's about time you drank like one.

Stephanie Dickison

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