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Columns

Tom’s Cookbook Library: A definitive guide for bartenders

“Meehan’s Bartender Manual” addresses bar design, menu development, spirits production, equipment, the heart of hospitality and drink mixing technique, among other topics.
“Meehan’s Bartender Manual” addresses bar design, menu development, spirits production, equipment, the heart of hospitality and drink mixing technique, among other topics.

“Meehan’s Bartender Manual” (Ten Speed Press), well-researched by mixologist Jim Meehan, is designed as a tool for professional barkeeps and enthusiastic amateurs striving to broaden the scope of their knowledge.

The book covers cocktail history. It addresses bar design, menu development, spirits production, equipment, the heart of hospitality and drink mixing technique. Other topics explore the craft cocktail revival, the rise of tiki, barroom design and decor, among others.

Meehan, who worked at some of New York City’s influential restaurants and bars, now calls Portland, Ore., home.

His book also includes 100 recipes, classics and signature drinks (see below). Stunning photos by Doron Gild accompany the drink recipes.

SIDECAR

2 oz. Remy Martin VSOP cognac

0.75 oz. lemon juice

0.5 oz. Cointreau

0.25 oz. simple syrup*

Shake with ice, then fine-strain into a chilled glass.

Meehan note: This recipe doesn’t call for a garnish, but a lemon or orange twist is a nice to accentuate the lemon juice or orange liqueur. I would substitute armagnac or one of the more venerable alembic brandies from California, such as Osocalis, before searching for a substitute for the triple sec.

SIMPLE SYRUP

(Makes 25 ounces)

16 oz. filtered water

2 cups superfine sugar

Simmer the water and sugar in a pot over medium heat (approximately 160 degrees F) until the sugar dissolves. Cool and bottle.

Journalist Tom Witom, who lives in Elgin, has written extensively for years about food and the food industry. Contact him at editorial@kcchronicle.com.

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