Quick as it is to mix a cocktail, it’s not necessarily easy to get it right. He breaks the formula down to its objective elements (sweetness, acidity, temperature), with a primer on tools, ingredients and techniques. Recipes are grouped by more subjective factors (Feeling Classic, Feeling Festive, Feeling Desperate), with bright illustrations and witty banter interwoven throughout.
Unlike other spirits guides, deBary devotes precious little ink to histories and production details and sticks to matters of the palate. He’ll guide you through a perfectly balanced Manhattan, a nonalcoholic Watermelon-Fennel Collins, and Weed Punch, which features exactly what the name implies.