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The Craft of the Cocktail: Everything You Need to Know to Be a Master Bartender, with 500 Recipes [Hardcover]

Dale DeGroff
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 15 2002
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.

Debonair, a great raconteur, and an unparalleled authority, Dale DeGroff is the epitome of Perfect Bartender, universally acknowledged as the world’s premier mixologist. From Entertainment Weekly and USA Today to the Culinary Institute of America and the nation’s best restaurants, whenever anybody wants information or training on the bar, they turn to Dale for recipes, for history, for anecdotes, for fun—for cocktail-party conversation as well as for cocktails.

That’s what The Craft of the Cocktail is—the full party, conversation and all. 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. Throughout are rich stories, vintage recipes, fast facts, and other entertaining asides. Beautiful color photographs and a striking design round out the cookbook approach to this subject, highlighting the difference between an under-the-bar handbook and a stylish, full-blown treatment. The Craft of the Cocktail is that treatment, destined to become the bible of the bar.

Frequently Bought Together

The Craft of the Cocktail: Everything You Need to Know to Be a Master Bartender, with 500 Recipes + The PDT Cocktail Book: The Complete Bartender's Guide from the Celebrated Speakeasy + Speakeasy: The Employees Only Guide to Classic Cocktails Reimagined
Price For All Three: CDN$ 67.67

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Product Details

Product Description

From Booklist

The cocktail goes in and out of fashion, and home bartenders need to replace their mixology recipes regularly to account for newly invented cocktails and rediscovered old ones. The Craft of the Cocktail, by Dale DeGroff, surpasses ordinary bar guides by not only providing directions for nearly every imaginable mixed drink but also serving as a trove of cocktail lore. After presenting a brief history of the bartender's art, DeGroff gives a history of each of the major liquors. He discusses drink-mixing techniques, including a thoughtful, dispassionate resolution of bartending's enduring dispute: shaking versus stirring. The inventory of mixed drinks is suitably comprehensive, and a concluding glossary aids readers with definitions of otherwise unfamiliar terminology. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

DALE DeGROFF has been called “the Billy Graham of the holy spirits” by the London Tribune and “a master” by Martha Stewart, and is widely acknowledged to be the preeminent mixologist in the world. He’s been featured in dozens of magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, GQ, Entertainment Weekly, Penthouse, Food & Wine, and Forbes; his television appearances include Martha Stewart Living and Today. For twelve years, Dale ran the bar at New York City’s Rainbow Room and now serves as a consultant for such top restaurants as Balthazar. He has taught at the Culinary Institute of America (and stars in their bartending video) and the Institute for Culinary Education, among other venues. Dale grew up in Westerly, Rhode Island, and now lives on Long Island.

Visit Dale DeGroff at

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have for any pretender or contender June 16 2003
First of all, I am just a pretender, and I have no intention of ever becoming a professional bartender. With that said, this is definitely one of the best books I have picked up, and definitely the best bartender book I have ever seen. It contains vivid pictures of everything that Mr. Degroff is trying to explain and he gives great tips on everything from knowing what glassware and alcohols to have in your bar to unbelievable mix drink recipies. For those who do not drink, it even contains an unbelievable non-alcholic drink (the citrius cream). This book also makes a great coffee table book. Vistors that come by cannot keep their hands off of it! I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes to bartend for fun or professionally.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Finally a book for professional bartenders! Oct. 20 2002
'The Craft of the Cocktail' is a massively informative referance that I would have maimed for over thirty years ago when I was first started walking the slats behind the wood. I can't wait to try the new recipes at the pub and in my home.
Elegant! Scholarly! Humorous! Easy read!
As a Hall of Fame bartender, I have studied my profession in Britain, France and the US and have over four thousand Beverage/Literature books going back to 1821. 'The Craft of the Cocktail' fits honorably among the top five cocktail volumes on my shelves. It is a treasure that I now study and revere. The historical information is accurate and the barroom philosphy uplifting.
Serious and aspiring bartenders, if you acquire only one cocktail-making book in your career this definitely should be it.
Dale DeGroff is one of the very few people in the saloon business worldwide who could have delivered such an important and complete work. He is an unusual and rare talent and is truly what a professional bartender should be. His playful anecdotes and story telling abilities show he is definitely one of us.
Come to the Fox & Hounds in St. Louis to imbibe and discuss this joyous book. If we are very lucky, Mr. DeGroff and some of his mentors might join us in a discussion about the history of our industry.
#N.B: Pay attention Cocktail Nation, this is a monumental work!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stylish and contemporary May 13 2003
By C Yu
This book is one of the top drink mixing resources for the home bartender. Mr. DeGroff's approach to bartending is a culinary one; at his bar, taste is king, with restrained but elegant garniture. The book is loosely organized alphabetically by drink name, but there are subsections that deal with drinks thematically. One of my favorite "featurettes" is his idea for a Bloody Mary Buffet, where guests create their own beverages. Little touches like these make this book ideal for the home bartender wanting to throw an elegant occasion.
The elegant layout somewhat masks the thoroughly researched nature of the work-- a look at the bibliography reveals a goodly number of cocktail books that could represent a good history of beverage-craft in the United States.
An excellent book.
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There are a plethora of books on the market which outline the history of spirits and garnish with anecdote. Dale DeGroff's book does a fine job of both, but the real value of his tome lies in the recipes. Mr. DeGroff is widely known as the finest bartender in the United States. His recipes reflect his own thoughtful theories of mixology - through spirit, mixer, and proportional characteristics. His chief aim as a barmaster has always been to produce libations which any discerning imbiber would enjoy and find memorable. As such, the recipes --some familiar, some not-- are worth their weight in gold. If Degroff's techniques and recipes are followed closely, a procession of grand drinks will result... and isn't that really what the craft of the cocktail is all about?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Master Craftsman shares his wisdom June 23 2003
I took a course with Dale and found out first hand what it takes to make a truly great cocktail--and found out how bad most cocktails in bars really are. This book not only tells how to create really memorable drinks for yourself and guests, it also delves into the history of the various spirits and how they've been combined by savvy bartenders to create classics old and new. I've read through it several times, lapping up classics like the sidecar and DeGroff signature drinks like the Ritz. If you like cocktails, this is an amazing book. Nobody cares about getting the best results like Dale.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Much More Than a Cocktail Recipe Book Oct. 26 2002
By A Customer
I found this book to be much more than a great collection of elegant cocktail recipes. De Groff entertains the reader with a history of the cocktail from its early beginnings and the role of bars and barmen in American culture. There's a very useful how-to section for setting up a home bar, an interesting guide to the huge variety of spirits, anecdotes about the drinking habits of the famous, and items of "trivia" that even include a cure for hiccups. The photographs that accompany the text are exquisite.
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