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The Book


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Paperback / softback, 416 pages
ISBN: 9780761174943 (076117494X)
Published by Workman Publishing


Available wherever books are sold, and at these online retailers:

What People are Saying

“Erudite, concise and always interesting – just the sort of person I imagine myself to be when I am drinking.”
– Daniel Handler
“The concept is simple, and in my mind, simplicity is often the key to making fabulous cocktails. In this tome, the Solmonsons take 12 bottles of hooch, and using them with extraordinary expertise, they mix and marry them into myriad delightful potent potables. Take this, plus hints, trivia, and tons of solid information, and you end up with a veritable cocktail of a book.”
– gaz regan, bartender at the Dead Rabbit, NYC, and author of “The Joy of Mixology”
“Tasty, handmade drinks have long been a passion of mine and this collection of recipes and anecdotes, bursting at the seams, is simply irresistible. You’ll want to read it cover to cover…… however, I got stuck drinking my way through the gin chapter!”
– Mary Sue Milliken, one hot tamale
“Good things come in small packages! The authors understand that less is more, and that endless variations on classic cocktails can be concocted with only a few simple, well-made ingredients. The 12-Bottle Bar is the perfect launching pad for a home bar, and will inspire many happy hours of experimentation. The perfect gift for a budding mixologist!”
– Amy Stewart, author of “The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World’s Great Drinks”
“It’s the bane of the home mixologist — complicated cocktail recipes that call for multiple (and often pricey) esoteric liquors doomed to be used once, then linger for years at the back of the cabinet. Convinced there had to be a better way to stock a bar, Lesley Jacobs Solmonson and husband David Solmonson set out to cull the cocktail herd and home in on only the most essential ingredients for great drinking.”
– J.M. Hirsch, Associated Press
“Starting a home bar from scratch can be daunting and expensive… With the right selection, you can keep your stash simple and still be able to make just about every cocktail you could imagine.”
– Brooklynmagazine
“Make enough cocktails to last you a lifetime. Limited to only seven spirits, one liqueur, two vermouths and two styles of bitters, you will indeed have a collection that in many ways will exceed most typical bars around the country.”
– Good Spirits News
“Here’s to smart barkeeping: Make hundreds of cocktails from a mere dozen bottles.”
– Cooking Light
“A great home bar is an abridged one… The 12 Bottle Bar offers tips on stocking enough liquor to keep your cocktail list large but your investment small.”
– Los Angeles magazine
“An innovative idea.”
–Town & Country
“Covers the bases of modern cocktail making thoroughly.”
– Kindred Cocktails
“Maximum cocktail potential from just a few bottles.”
“The perfect precursor to a establishing a successful home or café beverage program.”
– Fresh Cup
“How many cocktails could you make using just 12 bottles without sacrificing flavor, technique, or creativity? The answer: enough to give your local molecular mixologist a run for his money.”
– Publishers Weekly



About The 12 Bottle Bar

We’re living in the midst of a cocktail renaissance—artisanal cocktails, celebrity mixologists, drinks menus as important as the wine list—and here is a renaissance guide for the home bartender. An ingenious new approach to making cocktails, The 12 Bottle Bar begins with one irresistible idea—you need only these twelve bottles—and shows how, with this versatile but select liquor pantry, anyone can make over 200 delicious, classic, budget-friendly mixed drinks, including sours, slings, toddies, and highballs, plus the perfect Martini, the perfect Manhattan, the perfect Mint Julep, and more.

Developed by two passionate cocktail lovers and written in a smart, compelling voice, The 12 Bottle Bar is a tool kit, a recipe guide, a secret arsenal—all in one. It tells exactly which twelve bottles you need—seven hard liquors, one liqueur, two vermouths, and two bitters—and recommends budget, mid-range, and premium choices. Each spirit gets a chapter, and within the chapters the cocktails are organized by type: Fruity and Sweet (Pom Gin Fizz), Tangy and Citrusy (Pegu Club), and Strong (Satan’s Whiskers). It’s surprising—tequila didn’t make the cut, but genever did, and the authors convincingly explain why. And it’s an informative guide—why to chill vermouth; the importance of bitters (the spice rack of mixology). Includes contributions from celebrity bartenders and cocktail lovers.

A Dozen Bottles. Hundreds of Cocktails.






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