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This review is from: Craft Cocktails at Home: Offbeat Techniques, Contemporary Crowd-Pleasers, and Classics Hacked with Science (Paperback)
I'll get my one negative point out of the way first.
On occassion, I found myself completely immersed in the scientific content of the book, only to be hit head on with the use of unscientific terminology, like "cups", when talking about cocktails. It was rather jarring. I felt that it compromised the scientific integrity of the book but then I took a step back and it dawned on me that this is actually where the true beauty of this book is found.
Kevin has written a book which carefully balances the artistic nature inherent to cocktails with scientific reasoning on a multitude of topics. It's not a cocktail book and it's not a scientific reference book but an extremely well written piece that lives somewhere in between. The writing is engaging enough to draw you in and the points he makes are backed up with references to scientific journals, other writers and the like.
Yet at the same time, CCAH isn't afraid to go against convention, with Kevin arguing against points made by food-geek maestros such as Harold McGee.
This book won't make you a master of cocktail science but what it does is something far more brilliant.
It makes you want to become one.
It sets off that spark inside you, instigating curious notions and ideas which you never thought could be attributed to cocktails. Every two or three pages, I had to stop and add another note to the ever expanding list of post-its on my table.
This book teaches you things that you didn't realise were there to be learnt and in breaking cocktails down to their base components, CCAH shows you that the principles can be applied in so many different areas of food and drink.
This book is a must have for anyone with an interest in the ever expanding world of cocktail geekery - a discipline which Kevin Liu has wonderfully and ingeniously added to.