The Other Very Important Cocktail Book Coming Out This Fall
October 28, 2014
This has been a tremendous year for cocktail technique books, with The Bar Book by Jeffrey Morgenthaler out in the middle of the year and the Death & Co. book recently released.
I haven't yet seen too much chatter about another book that will likely have a massive impact on cocktails around the world: Liquid Intelligence: The Art and Science of the Perfect Cocktail by Dave Arnold.
The book is due out November 10th.
Dave Arnold was a teacher/writer for the French Culinary Institute and is the guy behind the cocktail program at Booker & Dax in New York. He was the person responsible for bringing flash infusions to the cocktail world, has progressed juice clarification techniques to new levels, and is the person responsible for many sales of centrifuges to bartenders- all from the website he only occasionally wrote for, CookingIssues.com.
Now Arnold has put together those techniques and many others into a book. Many of the techniques will be familiar to those who have followed his work for years, such as the science of chilling/dilution in shaking vs. stirring; how many people prefer slightly aged citrus juice in cocktails; and nitro muddling.
There are sections on making clear ice (but you read all those methods here first), vacuum infusion, hot pokers, and fat-washing.
Big sections of the book center on chilling/dilution/temperature, bulk production/bottled cocktails, carbonation, and clarification. These techniques are explained and options are given for super high-tech and more easily doable versions. I expect to see these techniques used in global bartending contests for years to come.
What's great about the book is that Arnold covers both the theoretical (why things are happening), and the practical (how to make them work best). So for people who aren't bartenders but are drink geeks, there is plenty of high-level nerditry to enjoy as well. And for people looking for an excuse to buy a vacuum sealer/centrifuge/rotovap, this will give the perfect excuse to commit. I know I did.
The book is written in Arnold's distinct voice, with sections titled things like "Interesting Cocktail Physics that you can Ignore if you Don't Care" and other jokes throughout. The levity is important as there are very deep topics like a 17-page section on the Gin & Tonic, which doesn't include the sections from other chapters on lime juice clarification or the hand-built carbonation rig needed to make the "perfect" version.
I don't often review books here on Alcademics as I can barely keep up with reading them all, but this was one I was really looking forward to and to a geek like me it didn't disappoint.
Camper, I'm almost finished with this book and I think I 'm going to start over again from the beginning, It has answered so many questions, some I didn't even know I had until I read them there. Projects that haven't worked for me in the past that I had to abandon because I couldn't figure out why they would fail I now have answers to and inspiration to go back to and conquer. I've been using my ISI to flash infuse for a couple years, never knowing why it never worked as well as I thought it should. Now I know. You have to vent as fast as you infuse. And then do it again! Of course!
Posted by: Jared Hirsch | February 15, 2015 at 08:45 PM