Matt Whiley, the man behind Talented Mr Fox, Peg & Patriot and Scout, has a book out and it’s an absolute corker.
For those of you who have been lucky enough to visit one of Matt’s venues you will be unsurprised to hear that this isn’t your usual cocktail book. It is full of recipes and ideas to make you think about the process of making drinks in a different way.
The first thing you’ll notice, as you flick through the pages before diving in, is the beautiful photography and layout. The obligatory full length cocktail images are interspersed with more interesting ‘arty’ shots to keep you turning the pages.
The layout also hits the mark with the design expertly walking the fine tightrope of interesting and different whilst still being very easy to use and read. It’s even got a bumpy front cover!
However, as you’ll know if you’ve ever met a member of the Made In Chelsea cast, it’s pointless looking good if there is no substance. Fear not, The Modern Cocktail does not fall into that trap.
Increasingly new cocktail books are aimed much more at the consumer than the professional bartender. It’s understandable when you consider that books are generally released to make money and there are more consumers than bartenders, you don’t have to be Rachel Riley to figure out the maths there………………………. sorry, got distracted by Rachel Riley.
Whilst there is no doubt there is a consumer element to this book, some of the introduction instructions are definitely aimed at the home enthusiast, most of the techniques and skill levels are going to be a lot more recognisable to the professionals. The flavour profiles in the drinks also lend themselves to the seasoned palate and to those more attuned to imagining unusual taste combinations.
The book consists of over 70 drinks and there are very few in there that I didn’t immediately want to make. The Monster Munch Gibson is a drink I definitely need to revisit soon as is the Super Soaker. Also Rhubarb (no surprise to anyone who knows me) is a must and the Peanut Colada can’t be overlooked.
However the recipes are only half the joy of The Modern Cocktail. The style and type of drinks Matt creates ensures that the book has a extensive list of recipes for shrubs, distillates, infusions, juices, liqueurs, sodas, syrups etc.
It is here that Matt’s imagination and thought processes really come to the page and give the reader the tools to stretch their creative skills. Once you have made the Burnt Toast Syrup for the E2PA or the Mangosteen Syrup for the Bottle #3 Rice you will have a new ingredient to play with and a series of base flavours you know work.
So if you are after a Christmas treat for yourself, an industry loved one or a secret santa you have completely forgotten about then we highly recommend The Modern Cocktail: Innovation + Flavour.
The book is available on Amazon Prime for speedy delivery here