Ever since moving to New York, I’ve developed a fascination with bartenders/mixologists/cocktailians. Two points if they have a tattoo of the logo of the trendy bar they serve, three points if they can make and shake two tumblers at once.
More than that, I’m mesmerized by their behind-the-counter assortment of brews, bottles, and bitters. Watching a mixologist create a complicated drink can be like watching a chef serve a five star meal, which is how I decided that I would like to become one – for a day.
This goal came with several obstacles:
- The Pisco Sour incident of 2012 (Pro Tip: Don’t make a cocktail with an egg if you don’t know what you’re doing.)
- My kitchen is incredibly ill-equipped for cocktail-making. Unless you count a hammer as a muddler (which I have).
- I’m terrible at making decisions. Especially when it comes to deciding which delicious alcoholic beverage I’d like to devote my time and resources to creating.
This is where Shake (Clarkson Potter, $25.00) comes in. Written by Eric Prum and Josh Williams, it’s a hipster’s fantasy with easy-to-follow cocktail recipes, accompanied by beautiful photos. While I would have liked to have seen a few more recipes, this is one of the best cocktail books I’ve seen because it takes complicated recipes and breaks them down so that even a beginner could follow them and make delicious drinks with minimal effort.
For my Monday après-work drink, I selected the Nor’Easter from the Fall Section, which made my Monday approximately 74% better. Here’s the recipe so you can follow along and bask in apple cider deliciousness:
Yield: 1 cocktail
You will need:
3 shots bourbon
2 shots Apple Cider Syrup (See recipe below)
4 cups fresh apple cider
2 strips of orange zest
1 shot fresh lemon juice
2 strips of orange zest (to garnish)
Apple Cider Syrup
- Boil the apple cider and orange zest over high heat until reduced to one cup. Strain and chill before use.
- Add the bourbon, apple cider syrup, and lemon juice to the shaker.
- Add ice to above the level of the liquid and shake vigorously for 15 seconds.
- Strain mixture into coupes and garnish with strips of orange zest.