Dale DeGroff is widely regarded as the world’s foremost mixologist. Hailed by the New York Times as “single-handedly responsible for what’s been called the cocktail renaissance,” he earned this reputation during his twelve years at the fashionable Promenade Bar in New York City’s Rainbow Room. It was there in 1987 that he not only reintroduced the cocktail menu to the country but also began mixing drinks from scratch, using impeccably fresh ingredients instead of the widespread mixes used at the time. Known especially for crafting unique cocktails, reviving classics, and coaxing superior flavor from his ingredients, DeGroff has selected his 100 essential drinks and 100 of their best variations—including many of his signature cocktails—for this premier mixology guide.
The Essential Cocktail features only those drinks that stand out for their flavor, interesting formula, or distinctive technique. These are the very ones every amateur and professional bartender must know, the martinis, sours, highballs, tropicals, punches, sweets, and classics, both old and new, that form the core of a connoisseur’s repertoire. Throughout the book are DeGroff’s personal twists, such as a tangy Grapefruit Julep or a refreshing Yuzu Gimlet.
To complement the tantalizing photographs of each essential cocktail, DeGroff also regales readers with the fascinating lore behind a drink’s genesis and instructs us on using the right ingredients, techniques, glasses, and garnishes. As Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking was the classic compendium for home chefs and gourmands, so The Essential Cocktail will be the go-to book for serious mixologists and cocktail enthusiasts.
About the Author
DALE DEGROFF (a.k.a. the King of Cocktails) is universally acknowledged as the world’s premier mixologist whose innovations have impacted globally the restaurant and beverage industry. DeGroff provides consulting and bar training to beverage companies, hotels, and leading restaurants throughout the world and has won numerous industry awards. The founder and president of the Museum of the American Cocktail, the first museum in the world dedicated to education in mixology and preserving the rich history of the American cocktail, DeGroff is also the author of The Craft of the Cocktail, winner of the IACP Julia Child Award.
"Dale DeGroff is the Oracle, the Yoda, the Walking Buddha of mixology. Simply put: If you're having an argument about how to make a particular cocktail? Whoever quotes DeGroff wins." —Anthony Bourdain
“Dale DeGroff is the Grand Master Chef of cocktail making. I've been lucky enough to be his student–now everyone will know his secrets!” —Bobby Flay
“I am a huge believer that no dining experience is complete without a perfectly mixed cocktail and who better to guide you in its preparation than the King of Cocktails himself. The Essential Cocktail has any drink you could ever want, and in Dale DeGroff’s capable hands, cocktail perfection is assured.” —Ming Tsai
"Dale DeGroff is without a doubt the ultimate rock-star bartender. He's fueled many of my parties around the world with his extraordinarily well-crafted and elegant cocktails. A true master." —Colin Cowie
“The Essential Cocktail is a handbook for ladies and gentlemen interested in the honorable pursuit of all things delicious. For me that very often starts with a delightful and tasty cocktail crafted by the true master mixologist, Dale DeGroff. With this guide in hand, perfect drinks are no longer difficult alchemy, but easy sipping instead.” —Mario Batali