By Tony Conigliaro
Ebury Press, £25
ISBN 978-00 91948658
If you have been into a trendy bar lately and wondered why your cocktail was served to you in a cloud of dry ice by a man wearing a silly hat and a questionable moustache, then the answer is probably this: Tony Conigliaro.
Conigliaro is the Heston Blumenthal of the cocktail world and has taken a key role in a global movement that has seen the principles of molecular gastronomy (although this is apparently a term he likes to distance himself from) applied to the art of bartending.
He took a circuitous route into the profession for which he is now so well known, having studied fine art and art history in London, with a specialism in painting and experimenting with using aromas in paint. It was perhaps this unorthodox approach to mixing up sensory experiences that prompted him to get so creative with the drinks he made during bar work to fund himself after his studies.
"The result was a cocktail that carefully pivots on a complex interplay between Campari, with its heavily bitter orange flavour, zesty dry grapefruit bitters and Prosecco. A small orange twist completes the layering of multidimensional touches that harmonise bitterness, dryness and citrus," he says.
It's a similar story for the myriad other recipes in the book, many of which are accompanied by beautiful photos displaying the finished article and pointing once again to Conigliaro's background as an artist.
If you operate a bar and want to get seriously inspired by a sophisticated cocktail offering, then this could be the book for you.
By Neil Gerrard
If you like this, you might like these
â- The Ultimate Bar Book: The Comprehensive Guide to Over 1,000 Cocktailsâ¨Mittie Hellmich
â- The Ritz London Book of Drinks & Cocktails: From fine wines and fruit punches to cocktails and canapesâ¨Jennie Reekie
â- World's Best Cocktails: 500 Couture Cocktails from the World's Best Bars and Bartendersâ¨Tom Sandham