Michael Jackson's Bar & Cocktail Companion: The Connoisseir's Handbook Hardcover – 1 Sep 1998
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The book consists of two major parts. 1) an encyclopedia of liquors, terms and ingredients, and 2) a curated selection of recipes. I found the first section to be occasionally useful, but ultimately underwhelming in the days of wikipedia. Jackson keeps the prose clear but ultimately fails to deliver more information than can be pulled up on your tablet via google. The second section was useful in that it does not attempt to be comprehensive in the way of some "bar companion" texts--I find the latter often too cluttered with minor or uninteresting recipes. On the other hand, the selection is somewhat tried and true with the result that I did not encounter any new or unexpected drinks through this book.
If you are new to mixing drinks this book is a solid and adequate guide. It is concise enough so as to not overwhelm the beginner and offers an introduction to a wide variety of spirits and ingredients in one, easy to flip through and alphabetized place. If you are more experienced, this book may not have as much to offer.