Liquid Intelligence: The Art and Science of the Perfect Cocktail

Dave Arnold. Norton, $35 (320p) ISBN 978-0-393-08903-5
Arnold, the chief of New York City's bar/laboratory Booker & Dax, is apparently not kidding when he confesses, "I am okay with spending a week preparing a drink that's only marginally better than the one that took me five minutes." Through a combination of giddy writing, precise measuring, and creative behavior bordering on obsession, he presents a strong case for adding a centrifuge to the home wet bar, molding large ice blocks in the freezer and investing in some liquid nitrogen, all in the name of cocktail bliss. At times, this work reads like a manual to the most deliciously potent science kit ever. For example, the lemon pepper fizz is a mix of lemongrass-infused vodka, clarified lemon juice, black pepper tincture and filtered water. There are also instructions for making peanut-butter-and-jelly vodka (employing coffee filters if that centrifuge is not available). Many of the recipes are presented as experiments, asking the reader, for instance, to study the relation between temperature and dilution by concocting two Manhattans, using two different sizes of ice cubes, with digital thermometers as stir sticks. Arnold also has an appreciation for randomness, no more so than in the final chapter which explores the varieties of apple juice, alcoholic coffee drinks (including one called a boozy shakerato), and the unreachable goal of creating the perfect gin and tonic. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 08/11/2014
Release date: 11/01/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-393-24585-1
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