Talk about a clever concept! The Periodic Table of Cocktails is just that, an extremely well-organized and thought out chart of cocktails. It's not just a book of recipes for your favorite cocktails (although it does have recipes for all these fabulous drinks), it's a way to look at cocktail drinking and crafting that gives you so many more options.
Like I said, there are more than 100 recipes for traditional and newer cocktails, with background information, history, ingredient lists, and methods for each. There is also a list of bartender's equipment (along with a list of home kitchen equivalents), and a glossary of terms, detailed index, and reading suggestions for anyone who wants to learn more. But you can find all that in any cocktail cookbook. It's the genius periodic table that takes this book to the next level.
Imagine a chart of cocktails with different types of alcohol going down the rows and types of cocktails going across the columns. The rows: aperitifs, vermouth, vodka, gin, white rum, tequila, cognac, dark/gold rum, bourbon, and whiskey; with special rows for cocktails that include absinthe, that include beer, and that include overproofed alcohols. The columns: Martinis and Up; Daisies/Sours/Citrus Fresh; Fruity and Tropical; Highballs, Swizzles, and Muddled; Collins, Spritzes, and Fizzes; Snappers; and Coconut, Cream, and Egg.
Is it making your head spin? It took me a few minutes too. Let me show you how it works. Let's talk white rum. In the Martini and Up column, you'll see El Presidente. In the Daisies/Sours/Fresh Citrus columns, you'll see Daiquiri, Maid in Cuba, Between the Sheets, and Hemingway Daiquiri (this is the most popular style of cocktails; most of the drink recipes are in the chapters for this style). In the Fruity and Tropical column is the Hurricane. For Highballs, Swizzles, and Muddled, you'll see the Mojito. In Collins, Spritzes, and Fizzes, you get the Cuba Libre. For Snappers, the Cubanita. And if you like getting caught in the rain, in the Coconut, Cream, and Egg column is the Pina Colada.
So here's the idea. You like a good Mojito? You should try the drinks around it too. Try the Hurricane or the Cuba Libre. Or you can also go up and try a Bramble (made with gin) or down and try the El Diablo, with tequila. This makes it so easy to see at a glance what cocktail to try next. There are so many options in this periodic table, and they are presented in a clear and fascinating way.
Author Emma Stokes knows her stuff too. Not only has she spent over 10 years making cocktails in London, Leeds, and Newcastle, she also spent a little time in Geneva, working at CERN, so you know she knows what she's doing with a periodic table.
Check out The Periodic Table of Cocktails before your next night of drinking or tending your home bar to raise your game to a truly impressive level. Or if cocktails aren't your thing, check out The Periodic Table of Wine, also available and offering a wealth of information for anyone wanting a visual chart of wine information to drink in (see what I did there?). Cheers!
Galleys for The Periodic Table of Cocktails were provided by the publisher through NetGalley.com.