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All the kitchen secrets, techniques, recipes, and inspiration you need to craft transcendent cocktails, from essential, canonical classics to imaginative all-new creations from America''s Test Kitchen.

Cocktail making is part art and part science--just like cooking. The first-ever cocktail book from America''s Test Kitchen brings our objective, kitchen-tested and -perfected approach to the craft of making cocktails. You always want your cocktail to be something special--whether you''re in the mood for a simple Negroni, a properly muddled Caipirinha, or a big batch of Margaritas or Bloody Marys with friends. After rigorous recipe testing, we''re able to reveal not only the ideal ingredient proportions and best mixing technique for each drink, but also how to make homemade tonic for your Gin and Tonic, and homemade sweet vermouth and cocktail cherries for your Manhattan. And you can''t simply quadruple any Margarita recipe and have it turn out right for your group of guests--to serve a crowd, the proportions must change. You can always elevate that big-batch Margarita, though, with our Citrus Rim Salt or Sriracha Rim Salt. How to Cocktail offers 150 recipes that range from classic cocktails to new America''s Test Kitchen originals. Our two DIY chapters offer streamlined recipes for making superior versions of cocktail cherries, cocktail onions, flavored syrups, rim salts and sugars, bitters, vermouths, liqueurs, and more. And the final chapter includes a dozen of our test cooks'' favorite cocktail-hour snacks. All along the way, we solve practical challenges for the home cook, including how to make an array of cocktails without having to buy lots of expensive bottles, how to use a Boston shaker, what kinds of ice are best and how to make them, and much more.

Review

"Foolproof and high proof, this thoroughly researched and easy to follow volume will steady the hand of any home mixologist." --Publisher''s Weekly

"Fledgling bartenders should run, not walk, to borrow the first cocktail-focused guide from America’s Test Kitchen (ATK). Without a doubt, it’s one of the most comprehensive introductions to a centuries-old art and science, beginning with nearly 10 critical principles of cocktailing, such as using higher-quality ingredients and always measuring (never just eyeballing it)." --Booklist

"As their name suggests, the folks at America’s Test Kitchen are sticklers about testing recipes, and their first-ever cocktail book takes the same rigorous approach. Organized by method of mixing,  How to Cocktail not only offers up a slew of classic recipes and a handful of originals, but also explains how to properly use bar tools, breaks down the most common base spirits and mixers, and provides instructions for DIY syrups and infusions. It’s a perfect beginner’s guide for the cocktail-curious." --Imbibe

"The team at America''s Test Kitchen has finally brought their thoughtful, stright-forward, obsessively-tested sensibility to the world of tipples with this instructive cocktail tome. Not only does it cover all of the basic cocktail techniques and gear you''ll need to perfect both classic and experimental cocktails from the book, it''s also packed with recipes for syrups, liqueurs, garnishes, and tons of handy tips and tricks to take your home cocktail game up a notch." --MSN

"America’s Test Kitchen has finally come out with an encouraging bar manual that’s as trustworthy as its cookbooks. Packed with straightforward, unromantic, no-nonsense information, this technique-driven tome offers perfect clarity for the home bartender." --Chicago Tribune

"A thorough and helpful introduction to cocktail making from the perspective of the home cook." --Library Journal

"How to Cocktail is a road map for the curious.." --Wall Street Journal

“How to Cocktail” (America’s Test Kitchen, 262 pages, $24.99) is written by the earnest experimenters at America’s Test Kitchen, which has produced dozens of cookbooks written in the no-nonsense approach of a high-school chemistry lab manual. “We start the process of testing a recipe with a complete lack of preconceptions,” they write by way of introduction, “which means that we accept no claim, no technique, and no recipe at face value.” --Wall Street Journal

About the Author

America’s Test Kitchen is well-known for its top-rated television shows with more than 4 million weekly public television viewers, bestselling cookbooks, magazines, websites, and cooking school. The highly reputable and recognizable brands of America’s Test Kitchen, Cook’s Illustrated, and Cook’s Country are the work of over 60 passionate chefs based in Boston, Massachusetts, who put ingredients, cookware, equipment, and recipes through objective, rigorous testing to identify the very best. Discover, learn, and expand your cooking repertoire with Julia Collin Davison, Bridget Lancaster, Jack Bishop, Dan Souza, Lisa McManus, Tucker Shaw, Bryan Roof, and our fabulous team of test cooks!

The first ever Cocktail book from America''s Test Kitchen brings our objective, kitchen-tested and perfected approach to the cocktail arena from a home cook''s perspective.

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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 54.7 out of 5
791 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Emily
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Amazing book!
Reviewed in the United States on November 2, 2019
This book is amazing! I’ve made about a dozen recipes so far (Piña Colada, Manhattan, Dark & Stormy, Whiskey Cocktail, Ramos Gin Fizz, Celery Gimlet, Fresh Margarita, Old-Fashioned Gin and Tonic, New-Fashioned Gin and Tonic, rosemary simple syrup, plain simple syrup, ginger... See more
This book is amazing! I’ve made about a dozen recipes so far (Piña Colada, Manhattan, Dark & Stormy, Whiskey Cocktail, Ramos Gin Fizz, Celery Gimlet, Fresh Margarita, Old-Fashioned Gin and Tonic, New-Fashioned Gin and Tonic, rosemary simple syrup, plain simple syrup, ginger syrup, and tonic syrup). These are some of the best cocktails I’ve ever had in my life! It’s been difficult to leave the house and pay $12-20 for a cocktail that I now know usually takes less than $5 to make.

The absolute best, best recipe in this book has to be the tonic syrup, for use in the gin and tonic. It has changed my life. I’ve never tasted tonic like it before. The tonic has a very unique flavor that has elements of citrus but also tastes complex and layered, and has an acidity reminiscent of sour patch kids, without being overly present. It’s flavorful but shockingly pleasant (weird descriptor, but it’s true). I’ll never drink another tonic again! I purchased lemon, lime, sugar, and lemongrass at my local Safeway, bought 4 oz of cinchona bark on Amazon for $10 (8 servings), and found citric acid in the canning section of my hardware store. A bit of hunting, yes, but it wasn’t too bad and it is all worth it. I now keep a stock of lemongrass in the freezer and have enough of the citric acid and bark on hand to last 8 batches (about 150 cocktails), which means I only need a lemon, lime, and some sugar any time I want to make a batch.

Since this is a cocktail book, it isn’t fair to complain about the extensive ingredient list. However, the ingredient list is a roadblock. I’m not taking a star away from my review for the book on account of this, but it should be said that the number of unique ingredients in the book is very, very lengthy, and most of them cost around $20/bottle. That has dramatically impacted the amount of time it’ll take me to get through this book, and can be frustrating. It seems like ATK is aware of this and tried to remedy it by adding a list of cocktail variations, like 3-ingredient cocktails. That’s fine. I still enjoy the book, but if you’re on a shoestring budget... I think there are other resources out there for you.

Overall, this is a terrific book. It is simply the best resource on hand for learning to make cocktails! I highly recommend it.
44 people found this helpful
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Debbie Lee WesselmannTop Contributor: Cooking
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Comprehensive Book On Making Cocktails, With Photographs
Reviewed in the United States on October 14, 2019
I love most of America''s Test Kitchen cookbooks, so I decided to get How to Cocktail for my husband, who has been lately trying to expand the mixed drinks he likes to make. This book is perfect, not only for cocktail recipes but also for learning proper technique,... See more
I love most of America''s Test Kitchen cookbooks, so I decided to get How to Cocktail for my husband, who has been lately trying to expand the mixed drinks he likes to make. This book is perfect, not only for cocktail recipes but also for learning proper technique, supplying your bar with necessary tools, and choosing glasses for individual recipes. Each cocktail recipe is accompanied by a full-page color photograph on the opposite page. The recipes range from the traditional to contemporary favorites to cocktails I''ve never heard of before.

The hardcover book is mid-size: 9.25" x 6.75" -- more like a slender hardcover novel than a large-format coffee table book or a pocket guide. It does not have a dust jacket, something that annoyed me at first until I realized that it was easier to use and wipe clean. At a little over 250 pages, it contains a lot of information on a very specific topic.

-- Debbie Lee Wesselmann
27 people found this helpful
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Paula Leu
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
America’s Test Kitchen takes the “test” too seriously/far.
Reviewed in the United States on November 10, 2019
I was looking forward to this book. But they lost me when they recommended making one’s own vermouth. One would think that with the explosion in available vermouths that one would be able to buy a bottle fit to drink. But not according to America’s Test Kitchen. The... See more
I was looking forward to this book. But they lost me when they recommended making one’s own vermouth. One would think that with the explosion in available vermouths that one would be able to buy a bottle fit to drink. But not according to America’s Test Kitchen. The same over-the-top approach is taken with many of the cocktail recipes, taking simple formulas & unnecessarily complicating them with more ingredients & more steps.

That said, it’s not all bad. For example, if I liked G&T I might be interested in making my own tonic water (homemade syrup + seltzer). And the Fruits of the Forest liqueur sounds easy & good.
16 people found this helpful
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tMann
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Not many options, ok book.
Reviewed in the United States on March 24, 2021
Bought hubby a cocktail book as part of a New Years bday. While we have made a few fun drinks, it’s not the best book for kitchen “bar tending.” I feel like we have a pretty substantial amount of items in the liquor cabinet, and we never have all we need for new... See more
Bought hubby a cocktail book as part of a New Years bday.

While we have made a few fun drinks, it’s not the best book for kitchen “bar tending.” I feel like we have a pretty substantial amount of items in the liquor cabinet, and we never have all we need for new drinks in this book. You can’t make something on the fly, you need to make sure you’ve gone to the store with a list. Unless you’re making their basic cocktails that aren’t unique anyway.

I think the issue is a lot of the drinks call for specialty simple syrups with certain flavors. Which sure they tell you how to make them, but the recipes make it in bulk and I’m sorry I’m not using 10 cups of vodka to make a specialty syrup or liqueur that will take me a year to use.
3 people found this helpful
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Sara
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Perfect Cocktail book!
Reviewed in the United States on August 5, 2020
My husband and I have a lot of cocktail books - we like to mix up different and unique beverages, so we have a well stocked bar and enjoy exploring. ''How to Cocktail'' was another great addition to our library. The pictures are beautiful and honestly each recipe was so... See more
My husband and I have a lot of cocktail books - we like to mix up different and unique beverages, so we have a well stocked bar and enjoy exploring. ''How to Cocktail'' was another great addition to our library. The pictures are beautiful and honestly each recipe was so well described and thought out that we''ve flown through many (many!) of the recipes with ease. I like how the drinks all come with a little history and explanation about the how/why of the cocktail. The best part is that most of the ingredients are ones that a well stocked bar already has on hand. Very annoying when you buy a cocktail book and 1/2 of the recipes contain such odd mixers that you can''t partake. This book was great!
6 people found this helpful
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GG
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great basic primer on cocktails.
Reviewed in the United States on April 29, 2020
I''ve been looking for a good basic cocktail book for quite a while. I finally took a chance on this one and am very pleased. It fits in your hand and doesn''t weigh a ton. I''ve enjoyed all the reading, recipes are not too complicated or out of reach by using multiple... See more
I''ve been looking for a good basic cocktail book for quite a while. I finally took a chance on this one and am very pleased. It fits in your hand and doesn''t weigh a ton. I''ve enjoyed all the reading, recipes are not too complicated or out of reach by using multiple liquors and a bunch of expensive add ins you''ll only use once. There''s a lot of good information here, I especially like the "why this works" explanations. A good number of new to me delicious drinks, Celery Gimlet and Bichon Frise have been a nice surprise. In the next edition...please discuss flavored vodkas/gins, and add a bookmark ribbon.
7 people found this helpful
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RSDeuce
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
This book rules, and watch the Youtube Videos
Reviewed in the United States on December 20, 2019
America''s Test Kitchen does such a thorough job on everything else. Stand Mixers, Woks, you name it and they test it to an extreme standard. This is no different. With the accompanying Youtube videos it is obvious they did their research and tried to make the... See more
America''s Test Kitchen does such a thorough job on everything else. Stand Mixers, Woks, you name it and they test it to an extreme standard.

This is no different. With the accompanying Youtube videos it is obvious they did their research and tried to make the best version of everything. I have been making most of this stuff for a long time, but have learned plenty, especially when it comes to efficiency and how an ingredient affects a cocktail, syrup, or recipe.
One person found this helpful
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C. Fink
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Home run from Cooks Illustrated
Reviewed in the United States on January 15, 2020
I just received yesterday, so haven''t been able to try the recipes yet, but this is a very comprehensive volume with great recipes, photos, and techniques for anything cocktail related. Also great chapters on cocktail additions (salts, sugars, cherries, garnish), cocktail... See more
I just received yesterday, so haven''t been able to try the recipes yet, but this is a very comprehensive volume with great recipes, photos, and techniques for anything cocktail related. Also great chapters on cocktail additions (salts, sugars, cherries, garnish), cocktail snacks, punches and DIY cocktails (chile liquor - yes, please). Nice to see a few options using tequila and mezcal (tequila usually overlooked except in a margarita!) It is amazing all this info fits into this small book. The only thing that''s missing is a recipe for Pisco Sour - one of my favorite drinks, although I can''t buy Pisco in the great state of PA which only has made one or two steps past 1933. Cheers!
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GL
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great starter book
Reviewed in Canada on August 21, 2020
Great starter book and informative. Just wish it had more recipes but the drinks I did try were great.
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Cocktails Get The Test Kitchen Treatment

Recipes and techniques for building the best drinks

Cheers to Better Cocktails

Just like cooking, cocktail making is part art and part science. You may prefer your cocktails sweeter, or less sweet, or with more lemon juice (or more whiskey) but regardless of personal flavor preferences, there remains a best practices approach to using specific techniques in order to produce the most delicious results. How to Cocktail, our first-ever cocktail book, serves up 150 tested-until-perfected recipes for the essential classics, twists on established cocktails, and brand new test-kitchen creations.

Do yourself and a few of your cocktail-loving friends a favor. Impress your guests and spice up your next dinner party!

Spotlight Classics & ATK Originals

Aperol Spritz

This Italian aperitivi or pre-dinner cocktail, carries just the right balance between bitter and sweet. This fizzy drink is among the most beautiful with its fiery sunset orange hue.

Garnishes for the Aperol spritz can be subject for passionate debate. In the test kitchen, we appreciated the intriguing salty note of a couple of green olives brought to the cocktail.

Old-Fashioned

There are many versions of this classic cocktail. Recipes call for muddling sugar cubes and fruit in the bottom of the glass, but sugar cube size varies, so using simple syrup instead ensures consistency of flavor and prevents gritty undissolved sugar.

Dark And Stormy

As the story goes, this sweet-spicy cocktails' name originated when a sailor commented that the combination of black (the "dark") and the ginger beer (the "stormy") looked like "the colour of a cloud that only a fool or a dead man would sail under."

We recommend Black Seal Rum here due to its intense color and uniquely deep, burnt sugar-like flavor.

Tumbleweed

A sweet-spicy-sour riff on a classic margarita which is usually made with tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice. We swap out orange liqueur for mild smoky ancho liqueur and add guava nectar which has a tangy flavor with hints of pear, grapefruit, and strawberry. Garnish with our Smoky Chili Rim Sugar (or simply used granulated sugar).

Make Your Own Cocktail Cherries

This homemade version of luxurious cocktail cherries bathed in an ambrosial syrup will knock your socks off. We tested our way through fresh, frozen, jarred, and canned sweet and sour cherries. The key is to soak jarred sour Morello cherries in a syrup made from unsweetened 100 percent cherry juice and sugar. These cherries add a slightly fruity nuance to a Manhattan or an Old-Fashioned.

Mastering Cocktail Garnishes

A Simple Citrus Peel

Hold a citrus strip horizontal, pith side facing you, near the surface of your cocktail. Pinch the zest to express oils onto the cocktail and then rub the outer edge of the glass with the peel.

Impressive Garnish Twist

Use a channel knife to remove 3- to 4-inch strands from the citrus of your choice. To garnish, curl strand tightly to establish a uniform twist and then place in or on the edge of the glass.

Rim Your Glass

Dip your cocktail glass into lemon or lime juice for a kick. This will allow the salt and sugar to also adhere to the rim of your glass.

Salty or Sweet

Spread kosher salt or sugar into an even layer on a small plate. Generously roll the moistened rim into salt or sugar to coat evenly.

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