Every year there's a standout cocktail book, and this year my money is on Christiaan Röllich's Bar Chef. Röllich's innovative approach to cocktails and mixology has made him one to watch at renowned Los Angeles restaurant, Lucque, and his style is ever present on the pages of Bar Chef.
Röllich approaches drinks in the same way a chef approaches food; dreaming up unique flavor combinations, adding an inventive twist to something classic, and making the most of what's in season. He makes his own syrups, bitters, even Campari, and shares these recipes as well. Whip up a batch of strawberry liquor now, while the berries are in season, and you'll have it to use months down the road when you're longing for a taste of summer.
Bar Chef covers everything you need to re-create an optimal bar experience at home, from different sizes and shapes of ice and when to use them, to beautiful garnishes that enhance the cocktail. The headnotes on Röllich's recipes are personal, and bring an element of storytelling to the book that captures his fun personality. He will tell you which glass to use for different drinks, but as he says, "it's not about the glass." These are craft cocktails of the highest caliber, gorgeously photographed, in a format that is relaxed and intuitive. With this book as your guide even the most novice among us can create incredible cocktails at home.
Röllich was in Seattle recently and came by the office to show us how to make a couple of cocktails from Bar Chef. I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that the drinks he made us were THE best I've had. Ever. Anywhere. We have a Negroni connoisseur on the editorial team (Erin), and she was especially impressed. The recipe may be simple, but as you'll see, Röllich shares some expert know-how that makes all the difference... Stay tuned at the end for the Negroni recipe from Bar Chef.
*Bar Chef is an Amazon editors' pick for the best cookbooks of 2019 so far
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