Even if you’re not the sort of person who actually cooks recipes from Eleven Madison Park or The Fat Duck Cookbook, you might still want to pre-order a copy of The Cocktail Lab, which is coming this summer from Ten Speed Press. All three are seriously advanced manuals that require specialized equipment if you’re going to follow them closely. Of course, most people use them for inspiration rather than as strict templates.
If you like a cocktail you probably know how to make a couple variations on the Manhattan already. But Conigliaro takes cocktail design to a completely different level. Even if you don’t wind up making a recipe that requires a specific rare variety of sochu, or blending your own grapefruit bitters, or serving a drink garnished with ruscus leaves and a cloud of your own house-made green tea incense, you’ll learn something new about what a cocktail can be.
And fear not, there are plenty of recipes in here that are simple enough that the everyday home bartender could make them without too much advance preparation. I think my favorite parts, are the component recipes in the back, for things like pink peppercorn vodka and rhubarb cordial, and guides to ways more intense or varied flavors from citrus, all of which seem likely to inspire additional recipes on their own.