I’m not a teetotaler but I’m seldom a drinker. On the rare occasion it’s time to imbibe, my libation selections are usually filled with sugar, frozen, and offer up an umbrella on the side. A cocktail with St. Germain is truly as adventurous as I get when it comes liquor. So when OpenAir Publishing came to me with an offer to check out its new iPad app-book Speakeasy Cocktails: Learn from the Modern Mixologists gratis, I knew it was time for an education.
Speakeasy Cocktails is an interactive book, and its interface is powered by Inkling, which I raved about last month, but this is not a dry textbook. Author Rob Willey serves up a bit of history at its start and proceeds to outline everything you need to know about pouring a cocktail, from the types of equipment and barware you’ll need (a buying guide is included), to intricacies like how to add a flaming twist or how to make ice the right way (yeah, you’re doing it wrong).
As you swipe through the pages, video tutorials will appear, letting you get schooled on technique by award-winning bartenders Jim Meehan and Joseph Schwartz. Literally, my only complaint with Speakeasy Cocktails is that, even if you have your iPad turned up, the sound on these video clips is low.
Once you’ve learned all the bartending basics (how to rinse a glass, when to use ice and what type, proper measuring technique, etc.) and read up on why you should buy this liquor not that, you’ll be treated to 200 recipes created by professional mixologists. These are divided by main ingredient, but the search engine comes in handy if you’re looking for an option with a particular ingredient.
Whether you’re looking to be a pro behind the bar or just wanting to impress your friends with a vast bartending knowledge (and maybe a good drink or three), Speakeasy Cocktails is worthy of its $10 purchase price.