The New Old Bar – Literary Monday

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We can hardly believe that New Year’s Eve is around the corner!  If you are looking for great cocktail recipes and finger food, then this is the book for you.  The New Old Bar is the latest book from Steve McDonagh and Dan Smith of the Hearty Boys (winners of the first Next Food Network Star) out of one of my favorite cities – Chicago!  And, the recipes have Chicago written all over them.  How can you resist Dill Pickle Chips (deep fried, of course), Reuben Balls (deep fried too), Scotch Quail Eggs (boiled eggs, sausage and deep fried) and Pickled Kielbasa (not deep fried).  The food scream Midwest and Chicago to me, and after spending 24 years in Wisconsin, I earned the stripes to make that assertion.

From my fawning over the the cocktail nibbles, you wouldn’t have guessed, that The New Old Bar is actually a cocktail book.  Unless you were tipped off by the name.  The book does a great job at capturing classics, like the Ramos Gin Fizz, Manhattans and Pimm Cup, plus old standbys, like the Greyhound, Moscow Mule and the Black Russian).  An added bonus is a number of new fun and adventurous cocktails whipped up by the Hearty Boys and some of their friends, like the Bacon Cinnamon Sangaree, Bison Grass Crusta, Mistaken Negroni and Norse Courage (pickle brine, dill and aquavit). If the food and the cocktails weren’t enough, the book also has a great sections on how to make infused alcohol, like Bacon-Infused Bourbon, syrups, shrubs and garnishes.  The Brandied Cherries were particularly delicious.

This book is for the person looking for classic, comforting cocktails and food, some with a twist and some without.  We felt this book was fun and easy to use.  A great edition for a collector or a great intro book for a beginner.