Monday, May 4, 2009

Dale DeGroff and The Essential Cocktail

I admit it. When I’m at home at night, I frequently watch MSNBC for the latest in news and political commentary. I’m a fan of Chris Matthews, Keith Olberman and Rachel Maddow.

I’m also a fan of mixologist Dale DeGroff who has been making regular appearances on the Rachel Maddow Show. Last week, he was demonstrating mint juleps so that people could make these surprisingly easy cocktails for their Kentucky Derby parties. It was a fun segment.

I don’t know Dale DeGroff personally though he is connected to the Museum of the American Cocktail (he serves as president) and he comes to New Orleans regularly to teach people about the art of making superb drinks.

DeGroff is known in the industry as the “King of Cocktails.” He provides consulting and bar training to beverage companies, hotels, and restaurants around the globe. He was described in a New York Times article as being “single-handedly responsible for what been called the cocktail renaissance.”

DeGroff has produced a book that I really like: The Essential Cocktail, The Art of Mixing Perfect Drinks. It’s a beautiful book, and we sell quite a few of them here in the gift shop of The Southern Food and Beverage Museum.

The Essential Cocktail features drinks that stand out for their flavor, interesting formula, or distinctive technique – martinis, sours, highballs, tropicals, punches, sweets and classics. There are hundreds of recipes along with a compelling history that makes you want to make these drinks.

The book is a visual delight. It is beautifully designed and features fantastic photography.

The Essential Cocktail is one of those books you simply want to hold in your hands. It just has a great feel. Almost like holding a great cocktail.

See all the fun things you learn when you watch those cable news shows.