Meehan's Bartender Manual: [A Cocktail Reference and Recipe Book]
Ten Speed Press
Regular price $40.00
“A knowledge-filled tome for true cocktail nerds or those aspiring to be” (Esquire), from one of the world’s most acclaimed bartenders
WINNER OF THE JAMES BEARD AWARD • WINNER OF THE TALES OF THE COCKTAIL SPIRITED AWARD® FOR BEST NEW COCKTAIL OR BARTENDING BOOK • IACP AWARD FINALIST
Meehan’s BartenderManual is acclaimed mixologist Jim Meehan’s magnum opus—and the first book of the modern era to explain the bar industry from the inside out. With chapters that mix cocktail history with professional insights from experts all over the world, this deep dive covers it all: bar design, menu development, spirits production, drink mixing technique, the craft of service and art of hospitality, and more.
The book also includes recipes for 100 cocktails culled from the classic canon and Meehan’s own storied career. Each recipe reveals why Meehan makes these drinks the way he does, offering unprecedented access to a top bartender’s creative process.
Whether you’re a professional looking to take your career to the next level or an enthusiastic amateur interested in understanding the how and why of mixology, Meehan’s Bartender Manual is the definitive guide.
From the Publisher
Several recipes incorporating various proportions of dry gin, dry vermouth, and orange bitters appear around the turn of the century under many titles, making the Martini’s origin difficult to pin down. Frank Newman lists a 'Dry Martini' prepared with Martini dry vermouth in his 1904 French bar guide, American Bar, which leads me to believe the reputation of the vermouth brand had something to do with the name’s sticking.
Before the word cocktail became the umbrella term for mixed drinks a decade ago, Martini referred to a mixed drink served up in a V-shaped glass. Over the course of the last century, the recipe has vacillated between gin and vodka mixed with varying measures of dry vermouth, served with olives, a lemon twist, or both. The words 'wet' (perceptible vermouth) and 'dry' (little to no vermouth) refer to the amount of vermouth the guest would like in the drink, with 'dirty' called for if they’d like olive brine added. The Martini has been shaken, stirred, and poured undiluted from a freezer into a glass sprayed with vermouth by devotees of the drink over many generations, so there’s a wide range of options to consider.
Given free rein, focus on pairing a gin and vermouth with complementary botanicals, and dial back the vermouth in your vodka Martini so the mouthfeel of the base spirit is perceptible. Choosing the right proportions of gin and vermouth, incorporating enough dilution through stirring, and serving it at the proper temperature (arctic) all distinguish a great Martini from a merely good one.
Most people who order Martinis make them at home or know exactly how they’d like theirs prepared, so focus your creativity elsewhere. For a nice touch, serve the drink in a smaller glass, with the balance in an iced carafe on the side and a small plate for the olives.
Stir with ice, then strain into a chilled coupe. Twist a lemon peel over the surface and garnish with the olive.
- 2.25 oz. Fords gin
- 0.75 oz. Dolin dry vermouth
- Lemon peel
- Garnish: 1 olive
—Christine Muhlke, Bon Appetit
“There’s much more to being a good bartender than being able to quickly and efficiently make great cocktails. Yes, Meehan addresses cocktail recipes, what ingredients tools and techniques to deploy to make great drinks, but importantly this book is about much more than just mixing cocktails. Anyone who absorbs the pages on spirits will have more than passable knowledge of each of the spirit categories, and anyone who’s serious about bar management, or indeed any aspect of bar operations should read this book.”
—Simon Difford, Difford’s Guide
"One of the most recognizable names in the bar world brings you the ultimate cocktail guide, complete with recipes, origin stories and hacks—because not owning an esoteric bottle of bitters shouldn't hold you back from a good drink. There are also floor plans of bars around the world and deep-cut cocktail facts for those who want to geek out."
—Abby Reisner, Tasting Table
"For anyone obsessed with cocktails and their unique subculture, this book will be fascinating and essential, a heady tome that pores over the origins of whiskey and gin like a graduate school volume."
—Matthew Kang, Eater
"Jim Meehan was among the pioneers of the craft cocktail movement, opening PDT in Manhattan in 2007. “Meehan’s Bartender Manual” is exactly what the title promises: a manual for professional bartenders. But it will make a welcome addition to the library of any serious at-home drink maker."
—Wayne Curtis, The Wall Street Journal
“There are hundreds of bar books that focus on cocktail recipes or history, but few really explore the art and practicalities of bartending. Jim Meehan strives to write a modern handbook on par with the 1862 book, Jerry Thomas' Bartenders Guide. Meehan whips through cocktail history basics and features in-depth recipes for classic cocktails, but the best sections look at what it means to run a bar today. [..]Meehan’s book is designed for everyone from newcomers to the bar industry to seasoned bar owners who are always seeking new ways to improve their establishment.”
—Amy Cavanaugh, Plate
"When he opened New York’s PDT in 2007, Jim Meehan helped kick off the speakeasy trend, and in 2012, the bar scored the first James Beard Award for Outstanding Bar Program. Now Meehan has distilled his bar expertise into this combination recipe book and bar industry guide. "
—Jason Horn, The Daily Beast
"Jim Meehan’s 'Bartender Manual' a must-read for pros, home mixologists alike."
—Kenney Marlatt, Chicago Tribune
“Award-winning bartender Jim Meehan is one of a handful of drinks nerds who’s had a profound impact on the cocktail scene in America: the “modern speakeasy” he made his name at, PDT, is still a must-visit NYC bar ten years after opening thanks to its innovative and excellent drinks. Now, he’s taken a lifetime of knowledge and distilled it into a detailed bible of bartending that covers history, technique, tools and ingredients, plus 100 classic cocktail recipes and a sprinkling of invaluable insight from some of the world’s top bartenders.”
—Laura Sant, Departures
"A knowledge-filled tome for true cocktail nerds or those apsiring to be—it has insights from the who's-who of the bar-and-spirits world and perfected recipes of classics drinks."