I started the Cocktail Diaries in 2015 in an attempt to document a year in my life of drinking and drinks preparation. A lot of what I wrote then, is relevant now so our new blog will be boosted with these entries.
This is not a wholly unique idea, Nigel Slater did this beautifully in two volumes of The Kitchen Diaries. The original Kitchen Diaries is my favourite cookbook, maybe because I have always looked at cocktails and drinking in the same way.
With every day comes a different reason to have a drink. Depending on your mood, the day ahead (or behind you), present company; there will be a drink that is perfectly poised to correct an imbalance, shift your gear and if necessary, align your mood to the occasion. The cocktails that I will talk about are those that I have prepared for guests in bars that I have worked in, or they are drinks that feel right on a particular day, at a particular moment. Working as a bartender, I relished the opportunity of preparing the drink most fitting to a person at the particular moment that we might have met. This type of matching became the skill in my toolkit that I value the highest. Cocktails have interwoven my thoughts and conversations for much of my adult life as I have sought to develop this skill of matching people to drinks and moments.
Drinks we shine light on may be those best enjoyed in solitude, but more often, they will be drinks to be enjoyed with company (either recently acquired or old friends). These are drinks I prepare when I am either at work, or when I want to seduce or to surprise, or to fuel a party or celebration. They are what I drink when I am not reaching for a beer, or a bottle of wine. Often these are the drinks that come to mind through conversations with fellow bartenders, or inspired by the people I am serving.
Often I’ll call on recipes of colleagues and ex-colleagues where the shoe fits. I make no apologies for that. There are some drinks from folks I’ve worked should be shared and immortalised in print, not forgotten.
I hope you have as much fun reading these posts as I have living it.