The other really stand-out aspects of this book are the beautiful photography on almost every recipe page and the cocktail submissions from guest bartenders like Gaz Regan and Washington, DC’s own Derek Brown.
And the effect that all this has is almost like a cabinet of curiosities. Everywhere you turn, there’s something interesting to look at, and even though it’s highly curated, you don’t get any stuffiness or rigidity that turns you off from the content.
Sother sometimes talks about how he likes to design his bars in this way, with lots of little Knick-Knacks to look at on the walls, or behind the bar, or even etched into the bartop. And that approach shows through brilliantly in this book.
Here are some other things we find useful or interesting about I’m Just Here for the Drinks, in no particular order:
- The “classic cocktail” badge next to classic cocktail recipes. This helps you get a sense of when and why these drinks came about, and what their role is in the cocktail canon. It also helps you distinguish them from the custom jobs by Sother and all his guest bartenders.
- The very “definition-focused” section in the introduction, where a lot of time is given to explaining what is meant by terms like “a dash” or “double strained.” This makes the book approachable even to folks who are new to cocktails.
- The ingredient spotlights that highlight some of the most interesting and useful bottles you can have behind your bar.
- The homemade recipe section in the back, where the author shares his Manhattan Glazed Rib tips and his Martini Pickles recipe, among others.
- And the little “Sother Says” boxes, where the author provides metacommentary, tips, and tricks to help squeeze a little more joy out of every recipe.
So far we’ve mostly talked about the structural stuff I like about this book. But there’s one final attribute that I think sets it apart as being really special, and that quality is the sense of humor and lightness with which it’s written.
Another is a really down-to-earth and gregarious guy when you hear him interviewing guests on The Speakeasy, which is part of my personal weekly podcast diet, and a lot of that comes through in the way this book is written. He’s got no qualms telling you why he doesn’t think vodka should be in cocktails. He’s real about hangovers. And he’s not shy about saying he fucking loves gin. The entire books is peppered with little one-liners like: Come visit me at work. Tell me I sent you. And he even makes a cocktail called the Sharpie Mustache, served in a flask with a mustache on it. Come on – this guy knows how to have a good time, and that demeanor makes it an easy, but still very nutritious read.
From our bookshelf to yours, we highly recommend I’m Just Here for the Drinks. It’s a great read, and a really useful font of inspiration when you’re looking to add a bit of flair to your tried and true favorites.
Creative Commons Attributions
Let’s Start at the Beginning by Lee Rosevere is licensed under a Attribution License.
And So Then by Lee Rosevere is licensed under a Attribution License.
Everywhere by Lee Rosevere is licensed under a Attribution License.