This spin-off of the famous Mr. Boston Official Bartender's Guide shows just how far from the standard format the series has come. The Mr. Boston Holiday Cocktails book is edited by wine/spirits writer Anthony Giglio and Jim Meehan of New York's awesome bar PDT, and contains recipes from the who's who of cocktails today: Eric Alperin, Jeff Berry, Jacques Bezuidenhout, and Jamie Boudreau are just the first four mixologists listed alphabetically out of 46 contributors.
Unfortunately their individual recipes are not credited in the book but that's about my only complaint.
The drinks are divided into Seasonal Sippers (using seasonal ingredients), Perfect Punches (tons of them), Hot & Steamy, Rich & Creamy, and Highly Spirited. Despite this being a holiday recipe book, these are the types of drinks I enjoy all year.
Many of the flavors in the book are deep, rich, and heavy. There are recipes with Islay whisky, maple syrup, aquavit, and mezcal; tons with Benedictine, port, and sherry; and I'm pretty sure this book contains the highest concentration of tequila recipes of any holiday book ever written. Heck, it contains more tequila recipes than 99% of all cocktail books on the market.
Tempting drinks in the book include the Bitter End #2, containing Campari, Yellow Chartreuse, blood orange juice, and champagne; the Abbots & Friars with Benedictine, sloe gin, and Abby ale; the Duckboot with aquavit, mezcal, hot chocolate, and hot sauce; and the Corenwyn Alexander with corenwyn genever, creme de cacao, and milk.
I already published the recipe for the Pumpkin Steamer from the book here.
Most of the recipes in the book, like this one, aren't incredibly difficult to produce and do not include too many infusions that take months to make before you even get to the drink. However there are many ingredients that the home mixologist won't have in stock (see above) so you shouldn't expect to pick up this book and make all the drinks on the same night without a serious detour to the liquor warehouse.
Overall this is an incredible collection of recipes with very cool and sometimes obscure (yet obtainable) ingredients. I say ignore the whole "holiday" part of the book title and buy the book whenever you get the chance.
And if you get a chance, sign up for Alcademics A-Plus, an email list only for giveaways. This weekend (November 6, 2009) I'll be giving away five copies of this great cocktail book.