“Master Mixologist” – The Daily Telegraph
“Imaginative, daring and flying the flag for the savoury-beverage trend”– Harper’s Bazaar
“The drink industry’s answer to Heston Blumenthal” – Square Meal
“Pioneering Bartender” – City A.M.
Meet Rich Woods, a.k.a The Cocktail Guy. At the forefront of the mixology revolution, Rich has been garnering fans and accolades through his creative reinventions of classic cocktails and exciting new drinks, all served with his signature innovative flair.
In this, his first book, Rich unlocks the secrets of making creative cocktails at home, from mastering classic techniques, to flavouring alcohol through simple infusions and more complex distillations and making your own home-made bitters from herbs, spices, fruits and roots. At the centre of Rich’s creative process is an understanding and exploration of flavour; from the way it unravels on the palate to new and unique combinations that are designed to surprise and delight.
The 70 drinks recipes are divided into chapters –‘Inspired by the Garden’ and ‘From the Kitchen’, all achievable for the home bartender, while the third chapter, ‘Iconoclastic’, covers 13 of Rich s most creative recipes with challenging ingredients and exciting combinations for the confident enthusiast who wants to impress a crowd. For the more adventurous reader, the final chapter, ‘Distillations and Infusions’, unlocks the alchemy of making your own distillations and liqueurs at home, from creating your own Beetroot & Chocolate Liqueur to transforming a leftover bottle of vodka with a few simple aromatics.
Including key information on tools and techniques as well as infusing and distilling to imbue your drinks with maximum flavour, this is the ultimate guide to modern cocktailing for the home bartender.
Woods, director of the U.K.'s Duck & Waffle chain's cocktail program, offers recipes that, for the most part, emphasize flavor over showmanship. Woods suggests 36 infusions that can be prepared ahead and other techniques that enable bartenders to create a terrific cocktail quickly. While some infusions border on the ridiculous (a Kobe/Wagyu whisky), others, such as Green Apple Rye, Jalape o Tequila, Pink Peppercorn, and Pine Needle Gin, expand the flavors of the base spirit, allowing Woods to create some cocktails worth craving. Two of Woods's most remarkable creations the Eden, a gin-based drink that employs beetroot for color and flavor that evolves over time, and the ingenious Clarified Bloody Mary, which embodies all the flavors of the classic without the heaviness that accompanies it (a crucial step involves pouring homemade tomato consomme through a sieve) are worth the price of the book. While Woods's approach isn't exactly one-step, having infusions and simple syrups on hand saves considerable time when serving up cocktails. There's enough variety in this fun and clever cocktail book to keep both pros' and amateurs' creative juices running.