The Bottom Line
- Recipes are alphabetized within drink categories making them easy to find.
- The concise Home Bar section is handy for party planning.
- The book has a wipe-dry cover so you can take it into the bar without ruining it.
- Embedded ribbon bookmarker is great for holding your page while mixing.
- It would be nice if the Names and Origins chapter was expanded.
- Many recipes (even the most common cocktails) list specific brands.
- Written by Ray Foley, publisher of Bartender magazine
- 343 pages - soft, wipe dry cover
- 1,300 cocktail recipes
- Published by Sourcebooks, Inc. in 2007
Guide Review - Bartender Magazine's Ultimate Bartender's Guide by Ray Foley
Beyond the extensive index of cocktail recipes there are a few helpful chapters of the Ultimate Bartender's Guide. One that it would be nice to have expanded (next edition maybe?) is the Name and Origins where about 40 histories of some of the more common drinks are alliterated, some to a lesser extent than others. The Beer chapter is extensive, but primarily includes American brews with the history of Anheuser-Busch in the forefront and the Pousee Cafe chapter is informative but also includes Hiram Walker exclusively in the gravity chart. Then the Home Bar chapter makes the back of the book shine. Not only does this chapter list essentials to stock in a home bar, but it features a guide that estimates how much of what you need to have on hand when entertaining for different sized occasions. This is an invaluable tool.
I enjoyed the way Foley describes himself in the introduction, it's an accurate way to describe the book as well. "...I am a bartender, not a mixologist, or master mixologist, or bar chef- just a bartender who loves the business and the people."