Book Review – Tales of the Cocktail Recipe eBook – Where Spirits Live

It’s probably fair to say that Tales of the Cocktail (TOTC) is the one event on the industry calendar that everyone would like to attend.

Where Spirits Live Cover

If five days of making, talking about and drinking cocktails wasn’t enough, New Orleans also makes you feel like an extra in a gritty, sexy, sweaty movie.

In fact, if cities can be likened to bars, then New Orleans is a dive bar. Which, as anyone with any taste knows, is the best kind of bar, and it has to be experienced at least once in a lifetime.

But unless you have quite a few bob in your pocket, or a benevolent drinks brand to fly you there, it can be a prohibitively expensive trip for UK bartenders.

Numerous magazines and websites have written up the TOTC experience, however no matter how good the story, it wont help you taste the cocktails.

However, help is at hand in the shape of the ‘Where Spirits Live’ eBook that is now available for download on the TOTC website.

Essentially, Where Spirits Live is a collection of all the cocktails made and discussed in the various seminars and sessions that take place during Tales.

With an introduction by Dale DeGroff and recipes from luminaries such as Simon Ford, Wayne Collins, Timo Janse and Charlotte Voisey to name a few, the 244 page PDF volume really is an exhaustive list.

Being a digital publication, Where Spirits Live offers the obvious benefit of being kinder to the environment than a traditional tome, however it is searchable by keyword, which also makes it a valuable resource when researching or creating cocktail menus.

The PDF eBook is available for download from for $10US, which at the time of writing is a very reasonable £6.39.

So, should you feel the urge to immerse yourself in Bourbon Street’s sweaty glow from the comfort of your own bar / home, or re-live your time at Tales, get clicketing and download Where Spirits Live for liquid inspiration.

Example recipe, taken from the ‘Techniques and Problems of Historical Mixography’ seminar:

Punch Royal
Presented by David Wondrich

  • 3 oz Martell VS cognac
  • 1 oz Smith & Cross rum
  • 2 oz Sandeman ruby port
  • 4 oz still water
  • 1 oz juice, lemon
  • 1 oz fine Demerara or raw sugar
  • Lemon peel
  • Fresh-grated nutmeg

Muddle lemon peel in sugar and let sit for 60 minutes. Add lemon juice and stir to dissolve sugar. If necessary, add 1 oz (or proportional quantity) hot water to aid dissolution, subtracting same amount from water added at end.

Add cognac, rum and port. Stir.

Add water. Stir. Grate nutmeg over ice in serving cup then pour over top.