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Book Review: Gaz Regan's Annual Manual for Bartenders 2011

Gaz%20regan's%20Annual%20Manual%202011%20small Gaz Regan's Annual Manual for Bartenders 2011 has a ton of amazing recipes from bartenders around the world, but unlike most cocktail books I think the additional content is where the book really stands out. 

The "101 best new cocktails" section contains some great recipes, most of which were tested and possibly adapted by Gaz Regan. In skimming the book, I earmarked a dozen or so of them that I feel the need to make eventually. But there is a lot more to the book than recipes. 

The first part of the book is the first part of Gaz' autobiography. The second part is a discussion on "mindful bartending," a sort of zen philosophy on how not to get stressed out and punch a customer in the face. 

Next is the methodology section. He goes over some tips and techniques on basics like pouring, muddling, building drinks, and using citrus. There is a whole section on using eggs in cocktails. The section contains the basic information you can get elsewhere, mixed with modern thoughts on matters like the proper age of citrus juice and the hard shake. 

Another section is the "fabulous bartender awards," recognizing bartenders for their creativity, attitude, philanthropy, etc. 

The "fabulous innovators" section is my favorite, though. It not only recognizes who invented what, but importantly when. With all the writing about cocktails these days, it is getting more difficult to keep a coherent timeline. I imagine someone looking back on this new cocktail renaissance in 50 years and trying to sort it out - it would be a lot of work. 

Gaz recognizes the creators/promoters of fat washing, Martini stones, mist-flaming, herb-spanking, carbonated cocktails, smoked whisky, and aged cocktails in bottles and barrels. 

For this reason, the annual manual is not just a recipe and instruction book, it's almost like a bartending yearbook.

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