You may fancy yourself a mixologist at home, but sometimes the rest of us just want a drank. Enter Kara Newman, cocktail enthusiast and author of “Sip. Shake. Stir.” a new book from Chronicle that explores the simple art of equal-part cocktails (meaning, drinks made with ingredients of equal parts) as imagined by different experts of the mixology world. While no Boston bartenders were interviewed for the book (“Sorry to say!”), Newman says she found found an ideal match with bartender extraordinaire Todd Maul who will host the author for a signing and reception on Nov. 1 at his Kendall Square gastronomy lab/fine dining establishment, Cafe ArtScience.
Newman and Maul had a chance meeting at the James Beard House in New York, where he was making “rose-based cocktails in martini glasses with petals that looked like koi fish floating in them.” The two hit it off, and it was a “happy coincidence” when Cafe ArtScience became Newman’s Boston area stop on her book tour. Maul will recreate some of the minimalist recipes from Newman’s book and make them anything but minimal.
“I’m really interested to see what Todd will do,” says Newman, who also serves as Spirits Editor for Wine Enthusiast magazine and authored 2013's "Cocktails for a Crowd."“He’s turning what I call ‘simple’ into the most complex versions of over-the-top cocktails.” On the menu: a Smoked Cocoa Nib Negroni and Clarified Lime Gimlet, both available a la cart at the event.
While these imbibements, she assures us, sound totally delectable, Newman’s wheelhouse (particularly for this new book) comes with the home bartender (i.e. you, me) in mind. The 50-plus recipes featured in her book are made with her "shake-stir-sip" mentality in mind.
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“I wanted to make drink styles I couldn’t screw up,” she says. “When I discovered equal-part cocktails, it was personally very exciting to me. There are all these classic drinks, like the Corpse Reviver and the 50/50 Martini where it’s just equal parts of simple ingredients. It’s a mind-blowing moment of clarity, knowing you can make them at hope. I hope other people can find them helpful.”
Experience the best of both worlds and meet Maul and Newman at Cafe ArtScience (650 E Kendall St., Cambridge) onNov. 1 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
According to Newman, the Hanky Panky has seen a revival in the bar scene thanks to Misty Kalkofen (formerly of Drink, Brick and Mortar, Green Street) who is a "longtime advocate" for the drink. We'll cheers to that.
From Shake.Stir.Sip.: More Than 50 Effortless Cocktails Made in Equal Parts, by Kara Newman (Chronicle Books)
A classic cocktail—essentially an equal-parts martini that’s given a brisk, bitter edge thanks to a couple of dashes of Fernet Branca, a particularly intense amaro.
1 1/2 oz [45 ml] gin
1 1/2 oz [45 ml] sweet vermouth
2 dashes Fernet Branca
1 strip orange peel
In an ice-filled mixing glass, combine the gin, sweet vermouth, and Fernet Branca. Stir well, and strain into a chilled martini glass.
Twist the orange peel over the drink to spray its essential oils over the top , run the peel around the rim of the glass, then discard the peel before serving.