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“The PDT Cocktail Book”
One of my favorite barmen is Jim Meehan, someone I met probably over a decade ago now, while he was a bartender at Five Points, mixing milk punch steeped with bourbon on gray Sunday mornings.
I've been a fan of his ever since (he's not only a talent, he's a sweetheart), and he's garnered quite a following along the way, with stints at Gramercy Tavern and Pegu Club before opening the sultry Prohibition-era speakeasy, PDT (Please Don't Tell), reached via phone booth inside Criff Dogs on St. Marks Place. It's a place Michael Shannon's Agent Nelson Van Alden would hate (and love).
Meehan's days as a bartender actually began in Madison, Wisconsin, where, as a literature major, he tended bar at night to pay for school. That background in English gave him a nice entrée into the world of cocktail writing. In addition to his work behind the bar, he's a contributing editor of Food & Wine's annual cocktail book, Mr. Boston's Bartender Guide and Sommelier Journal, a trade magazine that features his monthly bartender column. He's lectured and mixed drinks at local and international trade shows and works with the acclaimed Beverage Alcohol Resource (BAR) team as a cocktails and spirits educator.
His cocktails have been featured on television and radio, as well as in books and magazines, both locally and internationally. Jim has been recognized as a rising star mixologist by Star Chefs Online Culinary Magazine, Cheers magazine and as the 2009 American Bartender of the Year at Tales of the Cocktail.
Now comes his latest book, The PDT Cocktail Book, a cocktail enthusiast's manifesto that features the recipe for every cocktail served at Meehan's award-winning New York bar, as well as advice and a lengthy section about building a bartender's library. It also gives you a rare insider's look into the world of PDT, including how they set up the bar and the crazy amount of work that goes into all those garnishes.
What also makes it unique is that it's a beautifully-illustrated book, in the style of kind of a graphic novel, with illustrations by Chris Gall. It's gorgeous. I hope he does a kid's book. I mean that as a compliment.
"I've imbibed every drink in this book; whether I can recall all the nights spent at PDT is another story," says Momofuku's David Chang. "Jim Meehan has written a manifesto for aspiring drunks and bartenders alike."
If you're looking for a new book for your cocktail library, this is the one to buy. Get it here.
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