The Craft of the cocktail is possibly the best cocktail book ever written by probably the worlds greatest living book is a must for all professional. The Craft of the Cocktail has ratings and 20 reviews. Alex said: DeGroff is a well-respected cocktailian, but IMO, this book has aged poorly. Publish. The first real cookbook for cocktails, featuring recipes from the wolrd’s premier mixologist, Dale DeGroff. Covering the entire breadth of this.

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While these days you can barely make it a few blocks without stumbling on a cocktail bar touting from-scratch bitters and hand-chipped ice, Dale DeGroff remembers a time when apathetic bartenders presided over soda guns and packages of sour mix. Those were my Mad Men days.

Meet The King of Cocktails

It was the beginning of my education. So I wrote out eight popular drinks on index cards and learned very quickly. He was angry he was on the day shift because they lost a bartender, so he hired me on the spot and put me on the next day. Today, DeGroff keeps busy training future barkeeps through the Beverage Alcohol Resource program, promoting his crraft Pimento Aromatic Bitters, consulting for brands, bringing his one-man storytelling and song hybrid On the Town!

Certainly, not without his own mighty push. Here, King Cocktail reminisces about the 10 drinks that helped him evolve from novice to icon. Sign up for the First We Feast Newsletter. Dale DeGroff The pioneering barkeep takes us cocktwil a journey through the early days of cfaft craft-cocktail renaissance. This was during an era when heavy French cuisine was popular, so by the time you got to the end of a meal it was exactly what you wanted: As a service bartender, naturally I had to make many Irish coffees that morning.


It was my first proud moment as og bartender. I was making a sidecar with cognac and sour mix at the Hotel Bel-Air, and there was an older gentleman who watched me.

Then he told me the right way was with a shot of Cointreau and fresh lemon juice and sugar on the rim. It got me thinking about proper cocktails.

That was reinforced when another guy asked for a fresh margarita and I handed him one with sour mix. He asked me for lime wedges from the bar, the bottles of tequila and Cointreau, and he made his carft drink. It embarrassed the shit out of me. It had a beautiful marble bar and he dzle beautiful classic cocktails to match—no mixes. As a tribute to the classic champagne cocktail, I made the Ritz—not in a flute, but a martini glass—with cognac, Cointreau, maraschino liqueur, and fresh lemon juice, and I shocked it with champagne on top and thr flamed orange peel.

I got my first line of press for that drink, in Playboy.

It went on the menu at the Rainbow Room, too, and it never came off. Milton Glaser, the renowned graphic designer I invented it for, was the only one who liked it.

Joe wanted me to fix the recipe. I was at a Hhe restaurant when I noticed the traditional beef with orange dish on the menu, and that sparked something. I flamed an orange peel and added a splash of orange juice to the Bloody Bull and it worked; it became our signature. I had lots of free time when I was working in the mailroom of the ad agency, so I would go through the old files. One day, I found a menu from La Fonda del Sol and noticed mezcal and pisco on it. Years later, when I put a pisco sour on the menu at the Rainbow Room, Joe was pleased.

It was an important drink there.

The Craft of the Cocktail

I even received an award, a gold medal on a maroon ribbon from the Peruvian president, because they said the Rainbow Room served more pisco than anywhere else in the country. This was not unusual; we or crazy things ddegroff broke a hte of records there. The original Hemingway Daiquiri, or Papa Doble, with white rum and lime juice was undrinkable without sugar, and soon the recipe called for grapefruit juice and maraschino liqueur. At the Rainbow Room, it was popular and ambrosial.


No one made daiquiris like that then. Maybe you would get a slushie, an artificially sweetened drink with some kind of rum. I switched a lot of drinks while I was there, but some I never took off the menu—that was one of them. I was never thrilled with the mint julep and thought it was boring. It was a creative year at Blackbird.

I took lemon and smashed it with sugar and mint and added the bourbon for a cross between a whiskey sour and a mint julep. A few years ago I got a call from Jackson Cannon, who runs the bar at Eastern Standard in Boston, to come up for the party celebrating their 21,th Whiskey Smash served. So Crart get out the lemon or and simple syrup and add a few dashes of Angostura bitters. It was the perfect drink for summertime.

Scott Fitzgerald drank gin.

Bartender Dale DeGroff Fathered the Modern Craft-Cocktail Renaissance

At Blackbird, we had New York State cherries that were in season for only five weeks. They came in sweet and sour varieties and we put big silver bowls filled with them at the front of the bar to show them off.

As regulars came in, we said we were making special cherry caipirinhas. Tags Lists, Interviews, My Career, cocktails.