Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz: A Cocktail Lover’s Guide to Mixing Drinks Using New and Classic Liqueurs
Yes, I know, I’ve talked lots about the Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz release party that was at the Rob Roy a week or so ago. And I’ve posted a couple drinks from the book, and made a short video about joining the GBVF Army, that talks a bit about the book. But I haven’t given (I don’t think) the book a proper overview here yet, for those who may have missed the party and aren’t quite sure why they need a copy. So, first, a quick overview, and then (second) some fun facts.
Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz is designed in a very particular manner. Unlike other numerous classic and modern cocktail tomes available that break out chapters by base spirit (gin, vodka, brandy, whiskey, tequila, and sometimes Champagne), or the fine volumes that are alphabetical by drink, or the other worthy reads (including a few by yours truly) that break chapters out by theme, this book is divided into chapters by flavor profile. By “flavor profile” I’m talking about what the flavor is of a particular liqueur that’s responsible for the personality and taste of a drink. There’s a chapter on A Liquid Citrus Circus, for example, containing recipes highlighted by the vast panoply of fun orange and other citrus liqueurs, and a chapter that reminds you to Take Your Herbal Medicine that contains darker, more intense, herbal liqueurs that are popping up more regularly. There’s also a chapter detailing The Justice League of Vermouths–though they aren’t specifically liqueurs, vermouths and their cousins are also part of the path to joining the GBVF Army–and other flavor specific chapters. By breaking out the chapters in this flavor-oriented way, it makes it easier to plan a party around a few signature drinks as well as easier to find a particular drink matching up with what you’re craving. The idea is to make it a snap for you to pick out a few signature drinks to make any gathering sparkle: from parties of many people to those that are just you and a significant other.
Okay, now that you know a bit about the book in general, here are some specific facts you might not know:
- GBVF has over 200 recipes, some lesser-known classics, some from here and there, and a bunch from modern pro-and-home bartenders, including recipes from: Andrew Bohrer, Ed Skoog, Matt Bohlmann, Jeffrey Morgenthaler, LUPEC Boston, Jeremy Sidener, Paul Abercrombie, Meaghan Dorman, Jay Hepburn, Robert Hess, Yuri Kato, Augusto Lino, Kelly, Magyarics, Thad Volger, Kara Newman, Jim Romdall, David Shenaut, Doug Winship, Erik Ellestad, Chantal Tseng, and probably a few others I’m forgetting a will feel bad about later. Look these fine people up and support them.
- There are at least 14 mentions of comic book or comic strip characters, including two Dr. Strange references (to make Neilalien happy) and a whole chapter called The Justice League of Vermouths (to make pal PhiSmi happy).
- There is one current NBA basketballer mentioned (Andrew Bogut) and three past ballers (Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp, and Nate McMillan).
- There are a number of sidebars to help you pick drinks for specific party occasions, including 4 Drinks for Fishing.
- One drink is named after a short short story by the novelist J. Robert Lennon. Guess which one?
- There are 27 Liqueur Spotlights, which go deeper into the taste, history, and personality of individual liqueurs.
- There are two mentions of Tom Waits, and one drink (The Hounds They Start To Roar) named from a Tom Waits lyric. There is also one mention of the little known Kansas City band Shooting Star.
- Perhaps the best Cocktail Talk type quote in the book is from Paul Holt and is on page 208 and reads thusly:
Perhaps, after all, it is best to stick to Pernod, if the sartorial consequences of imbibing interest you as much as they do me. This if only for the reason that however you start off drinking the stuff, you’re bound to end up more or less naked.
- Perhaps the best quote from the book itself (meaning, written by me) is “Charles H. Baker was the Grand Funk Railroad of his time.”
- There are sidebars pointing to classic cocktail books, favorite new cocktail books, favorite booze blogs, boozy poem quotes, and other ways to stock your literal and electronic libraries.
- Finally, the first drink in the book is the 14 Juillet and the last is the Ti Penso Sempre.
Now, you know a bit more about Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz. So, whacha waiting for? Join the GBVF Army today!