Shake Strain Done: Craft Cocktails at Home

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Revolutionize the way you drink at home with simple recipes and common ingredients — no obscure liquors or fussy techniques needed — from the editorial director of Milk Street, J.M. Hirsch.

Are you done with generic gin and tonics, mediocre Manhattans and basic martinis? You can use pantry staples and basic liquors to produce more than 200 game-changing craft cocktails worthy of a seat at the bar.

Many cocktail books call for hard-to-find ingredients and complicated techniques that can frustrate home cocktail makers. Shake Strain Done shows a better way:

  • If you can shake, strain, stir and turn on a blender, you can make great cocktails.
  • No tedious secondary recipes hidden between the lines.
  • No mysteries. You’ll know what each drink will taste like before you pick up a bottle.
  • No fancy equipment needed. A shaker, strainer and spoon are as exotic as it gets.
  • The ingredients are mostly pantry and bar staples–things you already have on hand.

Every drink is rated by its characteristics — Warm, Refreshing, Sweet, Sour, Bitter, Fruity, Herbal, Creamy, Spicy, Strong and Smoky — to help expand your horizons and find more drinks to love.

These are drinks with the sophistication of a high-end speakeasy, minus the fuss, like:

  • The Sazerac 2.0 – a spice cabinet update that takes the classic back to its origins
  • A new White Russian that lightens the load with coconut water instead of cream
  • A grownup Singapore Sling that’s fruity without tasting like fruit punch
  • A Scorched Margarita that uses the broiler to char those lemons and limes
  • A feisty new Gin and Tonic in which black pepper is the star ingredient
  • And plenty of originals, like the Pooh Bear. Butter, honey and bourbon? Yes, please! And Mistakes Were Made, for tiki time

 

From the Publisher

rum tequila gin bourbon rye vodka vermouth bitter sweet scotch whiskey brandy liquor drinks cocktailrum tequila gin bourbon rye vodka vermouth bitter sweet scotch whiskey brandy liquor drinks cocktail

If you can shake, strain, stir and turn on a blender

you can craft great cocktails

James Beard Award food editor drink writer christopher kimball milk street associated press cocktailJames Beard Award food editor drink writer christopher kimball milk street associated press cocktail

J.M. Hirsch, the editorial director of Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street

will revolutionize the way you drink at home with simple recipes and common ingredients–no obscure liquors or fussy techniques needed.

cocktail flavor creamy refreshing strong herbal fruity spicy smoky mixology bar bartender drinkscocktail flavor creamy refreshing strong herbal fruity spicy smoky mixology bar bartender drinks

Too often in cocktails—as in life—we get trapped by what we know we like.

We enjoy the Strong, Warm and slightly Sweet attributes of an Old Fashioned, and so we become an Old Fashioned drinker. Which is great, but it doesn’t have to end there. Rather than see preference as a limit, I see it as the beginning. If you love an Old Fashioned, what else might you like? By using a consistent and natural language with cocktails— those 11 characteristics that sum up how they taste and feel—we are able to use what we like as a jumping-off point to explore new things.

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Americano

2 ounces Campari, 2 ounces sweet vermouth, 3 ounces club soda, lemon zest strip or coin, 1 large or 2 standard ice cubes. Stir in a rocks glass.

Moscow Mule

3 ounces vodka, 1/2 ounce lime juice, 1/4 ounce agave or simple syrup, generous pinch cayenne pepper. Shake with ice cubes. Strain into a rocks glass with ice cubes. Top with ginger beer and a lime wedge.

Cinnamon Toast

3 ounces gin, 1/4 ounce agave or simple syrup, dash orange bitters, pinch ground cinnamon, ice, cubes and crushed. In a cocktail shaker, combine the gin, agave, bitters, and cinnamon. Shake with ice cubes. Strain into a cocktail glass filled halfway with crushed ice.

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O Positive

Bold, briny, and brassy, this is one to linger over. Every now and again as you sip, stir the drink with the olives and cinnamon stick. Each time, it gets a little more savory and spicy.

Philly Assault

This recipe was inspired by a drink at Philadelphia’s The Ranstead Room, a classy, moody, sexy speakeasy. This is their bitter take on a basic Manhattan. Bénédictine stands in for the sweet vermouth.

Vieux Carré

This New Orleans classic straddles the delicious space between an Old Fashioned and a Manhattan: rich and bold, yet not heavy. Typically, this drink is made with a combination of Angostura and Peychaud’s Bitters, the latter of which adds anise-minty notes.

Shake Strain Done: Craft Cocktails at Home
Shake Strain Done: Craft Cocktails at Home
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