The Cocktail Primer
The Cocktail Primer

This weekend my friends came over and helped me build a home bar in my basement.  It is pretty sweet.  I will post pictures once it is finished.  However, this was the perfect time to Review the Book, “The Cocktail Primer” by Eben Klemm.  This is a great book on the basic cocktail.  It goes over the makeup and level of complexity of each drink and further links the drinks together by drink family.  Along with drink recipes, Klemm discloses how to set up your home bar.  Everything from what spirits are necessary, to ingredients to have on hand all the way to the equipment that you will need.

This book is uniquely written.  Most cocktail books group drinks together based on their main ingredient.  A grouping of all vodka drinks, then all rum drinks, and so on.  Klemm organized his book based on flavors, technique and complexity.  For example, Mr. Klemm discloses that both Martinis and Gimlets are made out of vodka, but they don’t taste the same at all.  A person who enjoys a crisp martini would hate the sour sweet flavor of the lime gimlet.

The book is broken into 6 main types of drinks.  Martinis, Manhattans, Simple Sours, Complex Sours, Muddled Drinks and finally High Balls.  Each chapter highlights a cocktails, history and tips to help you become a better bartender.  Once you realize an origin of a drink, you can start to group the drinks together, thus helping you create new drinks based on those flavor profiles.  Just like cooking a good bar manual will help you create the perfect drink.  This book does a great job helping the home bartender link flavors and spirits.

I made a drink from this book last Wednesday.   It was the True Sour.  The drink utilized fresh lemon juice to make a refreshing drink.  Definitely one of my favorite drinks in the book.  Check it out here.

I am a big fan of this book.  From setting up a home bar, to building flavor profiles, this book has it all.  If you want to take your bartending skills up a notch, you should definitely pick up this book.

The Cocktail Primer is available where ever books are sold.  You can click here to pick it up at

Rex is an avid griller, barbecuer and bacon enthusiast. He is the Pitmaster for the Rex BBQ competition team. Rex was also featured on the TV show American Grilled. If you have any questions or wish to have Rex decode your favorite dish, click on the ASK REX link in the menu above.

Write A Comment

Pin It