Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Bar Book by Jeffrey Morgenthaler - Giveaway!

Let me introduce you to the latest cocktail bible you need now: The Bar Book: Elements of Cocktail Technique by Jeffrey Morgenthaler & Martha Holmberg. 

Jeffrey Morgenthaler is an award winning bartender to tends the bar at Clyde Common in Portland, Oregon.  I know him from his blog,, an excellent resource for recipes, technique tips, and and tricks of the trade that has lead to to better imbibing here at Gastronomista HQ.  And now, he's written a book!  It's not just any book, dear readers, this book will teach you the techniques required to run a world class bar (or have a world class bar in your home).  The book is also supplemented with his favorite recipes that highlight each technique.  Cynar Flip?  Yes please!

The Bar Book is the first of its kind - and has already been getting great reviews.  The book is organized into 12 chapters, each chapter dedicated to how Mr. Morgenthaler builds his cocktails.  There is no discussion of spirits, instead he goes through the different ways to make and prepare everything else that goes into a cocktail.

He starts with Citrus Juice, Other Juices, Sodas & Mixers, Simple Syrups, Compound Syrups, Infusions & Bitters, Dairy & Eggs, Ice, Measuring, Stirring & Shaking, Other Mixing Methods, and ends with a chapter dedicated to Garnishing. Brandied Cherries, Citrus Twists, and Flamed Orange Peels, Oh My!

One lesson I have already gleaned from the book is on Juicing.  For instance, how to properly use a hand press juicer.  I wish I would have read this book prior to a slightly embarrassing event where I was in a class being taught by cocktail guru Kirk Estopinal.  I, (booze blogger who is supposed to know what I'm doing), tried to juice a lime cut side up in a hand press and it squirted everywhere.  He got a good laugh out of it, but I sure felt like an ass.  Lesson learned.  Citrus side down in the hand press, people, citrus side down.

Another great section of the book is dedicated to ice.  Ice rings for punch bowls, clear ice, ice picks, how to crush ice, and how to carve your own ice ball.  A great tip for the home hostess: ice will absorb orders in your freezer, so try to make fresh ice once a week.

Luckily for you, dear readers, I've got a giveaway for you!!!  A signed copy of Mr. Morgenthaler's new book!  For you!  For Free Dollars!!!  All you have to do is leave a comment at the bottom of this post, and let a randomization widget do the rest!!

: : : THE GIVEAWAY : : :

The Bar Book
Elements of Cocktail Technique
by Jeffrey Morgenthaler
with Martha Holmberg

: : : HOW TO ENTER : : :

1. Leave a comment on the post answering: your best technique cocktail tip.

2. *Extra entry* Tweet #TheBarBookGiveaway @xxGastronomista

3. *Extra entry* follow @xxGastronomista on Twitter and/or follow us on Instagram.

The contest closes in one week (6 pm EST). Winner will be selected on Wednesday, June 25th, and will be emailed that day.

Good luck, and many thanks to The Bar Book author Jeffrey Morgenthaler and the team at Tanqueray for sponsoring this giveaway!

 AND - extra bonus - here are a few of Mr. Morgenthaler's recipes, courtesy of Tanqueray!!

Bittersweet Symphony

1 oz Tanqueray No. TEN Gin
1/2 oz. Italian Aperitif
1/2 oz. Vermouth

Rocks, lemon twist.

Bittersweet Symphony by Jeffrey Morgenthaler

East of Eden

1-1/4 oz. Tanqueray No. TEN Gin
1/2 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
1/4 oz. Elderflower Liqueur
1/2 oz. Gewurztraminer Reduction
1/2 oz. Egg White

Shake, strain, up, lemon twist, then discard.

East of Eden by Jeffrey Morgenthaler


  1. my tip: read as many recipe books as you can!

  2. my tip: always chill the glasses by putting them in the freezer just before you start mixing the drink.

  3. Gregory RodriguezJune 18, 2014 at 5:54 PM

    My Tip: Always start making drinks by pouring the least expensive ingredient and work from there. The reason to do that is if you make a mistake you can start all over without wasting expensive product.

  4. My tip: always use Gresham juice!

  5. My tip: have a "house" cocktail that you a) love, b) always have the ingredients for on hand at home and c) can make perfectly without a recipe.

  6. Don't muddle herbs, shake them w/the ice. Less danger of bitterness through overwork, bright flavor and much less garbage in the glass

  7. Experiment with cocktails by substituting out different types of bitters, vermouths and aperitifs to find new combinations.

  8. My tip: Do not measure anything, if there is too much for one drink, drink two

  9. Tip: When serving good whisky, don't serve on the rocks. The ice will lock up the flavors. If you don't like the flavor of a new whisky, add a few drops of water. Water opens up the flavor and generally makes it more mellow.

  10. my favorite tip - don't muddle herbs to a pulp, as it releases bitter chlorophyll and just looks less appealing. Muddle, but not too much!

  11. tip. Making your own mixers, bitters and infusions from fresh ingredients always give you better results and room to play around with flavors your looking for, just remember to right them down and keep track of them

  12. My tip: if you aren't 100% on a recipe yet, subtract one ingredient and see if it gets simplified. In my world, it usually does. And for the better.

  13. My tip: Don't just learn recipes, but learn why recipes work. That way, if you don't have the precise ingredients required for a specific recipe, you can make substitutes and experiment with better results.

  14. Never purchase simple syrup, it's the easiest thing to make and you can modify the classic recipe (50% water, 50% sugar) based on your preferred level of sweetness.

  15. Touch of salt enhances the flavor of sour and bitter cocktails.

  16. My tip: Experiment with different base spirits in classic cocktails. Have you tried a Rum Espresso Martini?

  17. This is easy! An alcohol only cocktail should be stirred not shaken! I learned that technique from you!

  18. My Tip: MEASURE! Measured cocktails= balanced cocktails, balanced cocktails= great cocktails!

  19. My tip - add a little more alcohol than you think you need!

  20. brandied cherries go with everything

  21. My best tip is to remember that we don't just serve drinks, we serve drinks TO PEOPLE. Customers are there to speak to and there's always a tip when you provide them with a little knowledge whilst serving them a great drink.

  22. Thanks to everyone who entered the book giveaway - I've been loving all of your cocktail tips!! Even if you didn't win a signed copy - I encourage all of you to pick up your own copy, I'm sure you will enjoy it. Thanks to Jeffrey Morgenthaler and Tanqueray for supporting this giveaway! Cheers!


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