Vodka Cocktails by Stuart Walton is perhaps the best quality and best priced vodka cocktail book around. It’s from Lorenz Books who have a reputation for publishing good value books which one will actually use.
Christmas will soon be with us and it’s probable that we will be staying home in small ‘bubbles’ this year. Cocktails will be in order and this book will be welcomed by any vodka lover who has hitherto been limited to a Martini.
Elevate your homemade cocktails
The book starts with the history of vodka and an overview of its Russian origins. We learn about different styles of vodka and how it is made. In the past this spirit was made of almost any fruit or vegetable but now it’s almost always made from grains.
Cocktails in general have enjoyed a resurgence not known since the roaring 20s. There are guidelines to choosing vodka, bar equipment, glassware and mixing techniques. There are step-by-step instructions on such things as crushing ice, frosting glasses, making garnishes, that will elevate your homemade cocktails to the level of those found in swanky bars.
There are dozens of classic vodka cocktails as well as many more which were new to me. If one could learn to make just a fraction of those included here, then one’s friends would be impressed and likely book you for that End of Lockdown celebration party.
Mentioned by James Bond
Each cocktail includes not only the recipe but also its provenance. For instance, the Moscow Mule dates back to Los Angeles in 1947. The celebrated Vesper, much appreciated in Dukes Bar in London, was first mentioned by James Bond who named this cocktail after his then-girlfriend. There are cocktails here to suit every taste, time of year and occasion. Yes, I do have favourites, not only to drink but to make. They include Bailey’s Comet which is a slug of the eponymous Irish cream with the addition of vodka. Served over ice this becomes a serious drink so do give your guests a warning, or ensure the spare room is ready. The Cosmopolitan is a classic and should be in every bartender’s repertoire. It’s popular at Christmas as a key ingredient is cranberry juice!
Vodka Cocktails might only be a little book but it’s comprehensive and well-researched. It would make the perfect stocking filler for any budding home barista.
Author: Stuart Walton
Published by: Lorenz Books