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DIY Cocktails: A Simple Guide to Creating Your Own Signature Drinks    by Marcia Simmons & Jonas Halpren order for
DIY Cocktails
by Marcia Simmons
Order:  USA  Can
Adams Media, 2011 (2011)
Softcover, e-Book

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Lazy, hazy days are ahead, and cocktails can be a refreshing and fun aspect of summer entertainment. Ever adjust cocktails to suit your own taste? We have played with margarita ingredients, but never had the confidence to explore further. DIY Cocktails: A Simple Guide to Creating Your Own Signature Drinks solves that problem with '10 Ratios, Hundreds of Drinks!'

In their Introduction to DIY Cocktails (DIY stands for do it yourself), co-authors Marcia Simmons and Jonas Halpren (Editors of give a brief history of artisan cocktails and mixology in America. They tell us that they wrote their book 'to bring mixology magic into your home' and 'ignite your inner bartender'.

Part 1 covers The Basics, including tools, techniques and equipment. The authors explain the Cocktail Ratio (mixes of different ingredient categories - strong, sweet, sour and weak - 'that make for perfectly flavored, perfectly balanced drinks'). And a Flavor Profile Chart in the Appendix fits a large number of ingredients into these categories.

Part 2 covers The Ratios. Each chapter - from The Original Cocktail (whose flagship is the Old Fashioned) to Effervescence (Collins to Champagne Cocktail) and Parties and Punch - addresses a 'fundamental cocktail ratio and its flagship cocktails', instructions on applying the ratio to make your own variations, recommended ingredients, sample recipes, and sidebars on techniques and tips.

Chapters that appeal to me are Tropical Drinks (Pai Tai anyone?), Elegant Sips ( the Rhubarbra Streisand appeals) and Effervescence (I'm salivating over the Strawberry Basil Mojito), but you'll find your own favorites. Feel like getting creative with entertaining, or simply want to customize your cocktails? DIY Cocktails gives you the tools to start mixing.

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