Thursday, February 26, 2015

Review: SHAKE by Eric Prum and Josh Williams

Shake - Eric Prum & Josh Williams

Review by Shellie for Shake: A New Perspective on Cocktails by Eric Prum and Josh Williams.

Perfect for the recent cocktail renaissance, within this book you will find a fun and easy way of making 32 different seasonal cocktails. And best yet it has lots of pictures!

Eric Prum and Josh Williams are best friends and have a design company called W & P Design in Brooklyn NY. And since they love cocktails and have created a cocktail shaker called the Mason Shaker (pictured on the book’s cover), it stands to reason that they would write a book on how to make cocktails too. But don’t worry, you don’t need to purchase one of their nice $30 shakers to make yourself cocktails - you can use a clean mayonnaise jar instead!

The duo has a premise on which they base their cocktail making - it should be “fun, simple, and social”. And the book is social since all the recipes are based on making a two-drink batch so that you can share. There are 8 cocktails for each of the four seasons, many using fresh local ingredients, so there are a lot of tasty ways that you can have fun. The book is also simple, broken down into the basics of cocktail crafting with fundamentals such as stocking your bar (where they suggest 12 different types of moderately priced booze); what types of glassware to choose; what types of ice and sugar to use; how to muddle; and, of course, techniques on how to “shake”. And since the book is mostly pictures it adds even more to the simple and fun feel.

Another thing I liked about the book is that it is a paperback with those nice cover flaps which makes it easy to save your place when browsing or making several cocktails at once. The index is also accessible and broken down by cocktail name, spirits, and key ingredient. Out of the thirty-two cocktails (several non-alcoholic) some examples are the Rosemary Bourbon Sour, Spiced Rum Old Fashioned, Pickleback Me (two shots – one pickle juice and one tequila), and the Flat Ditch. The Flat Ditch is my favorite so far out of the 10 or so that we have tried – it combines dark rum, lemon juice, fresh ginger, and strong ginger beer. Another plus is that most of the ingredients (or reasonable substitutions) can be found in your local grocery store and won’t tax your wallet too much.

It’s a book that I would consider for the newbie-cocktail-drinker, or for those looking to expand their drinking repertoire from the standard wine, beer, and basic store bought cocktail mixers. It’s an entertaining guide that I’d rate 4 out of 5 stars. I am looking forward to trying more of its cocktails and recreating favorites once again.

July 08, 2014 | Pages: 168 | Trade Paperback | Random House

A complimentary book was received in exchange for an honest review from Blogging for Books. If you are a blogger you can get copies of books in exchange for reviews too. Just visit

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