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A nonjudgmental, back-to-basics approach to making custom cocktails that's as fun as it is definitive—from a renowned New York City bartender who's worked everywhere from PDT to Momofuku.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR BY EPICURIOUS
John deBary is a veritable cocktail expert with a 100-proof personality, a dash of fun, and garnished with flair—there's nothing muddled about him. In Drink What You Want, John breaks down the science of mixology (yes, it's a science) and explains the rules of drink-making. Most important, you'll learn how to tweak any drink, both classic and creative, to your preferences and moods. Are you adventurous or traditional? Sweet or bitter? Brown liquor or clear?
While giving newbies a rundown of cocktail culture, lingo, and etiquette, John turns the "cocktail book" concept on its ear by infusing a traditionally formal topic with his fresh, conversational voice. Mixology geeks and bottomless brunchers alike will revel in the craft of the cocktail, from classic to modern to funky. Cocktails are about creativity and setting the mood, and Drink What You Want overflows with both.
About the Author
John deBary began bartending in 2008 at PDT, the world-famous and James Beard Award-winning New York speakeasy. He joined the acclaimed Momofuku restaurant group a year later, where he was the group’s bar director until 2018. John is now the CEO and founder of Proteau, a non-alcoholic botanical drinks company, as well as a co-founder and board president of Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation, a nonprofit focused on improving the quality of life of hospitality employees. He lives in New York City with his husband and cat.
“John’s cocky (pun very much intended), idiosyncratic, culturally literate, OCD voice is like the subject matter itself: bold, brash, bitter, exacting, and occasionally scandalous. His book is the Corpse Reviver (Number Blue, of course) bartenders and enthusiasts have been thirsting for. For this, and to witness John step out as he does ahead, I’m honored to position the coaster.”—from the foreword by Jim Meehan, author of Meehan’s Bartender Manual and The PDT Cocktail Book
“When we started Momofuku, I didn’t know anything about cocktails. I’m the guy who still likes to drink sh*tty beers. If it wasn’t for JdB, we would still be selling Diet Dr Pepper and watery beer. JdB is one of the most creative people I know. He transformed our cocktail program and how I think about what I drink—now let him do the same for you.”—David Chang, chef and founder, Momofuku
“John deBary is the only person in the world who could make me care about cocktails. Even if he weren’t one of the most knowledgeable people on the subject out there, I’d still read this book cover to cover just for the LOLs.”—Alison Roman, author of Dining In and Nothing Fancy
“I’ve had the good fortune of having courtside seats at the New York bars where John deBary developed his signature style, and with Drink What You Want he distills his spirited wisdom into a compact, back-to-the-basics cocktail guide that’s actually anything but. This well-balanced ‘Tao of John’ is smart, funny, highly opinionated, and at times a bit irreverent (I’ll never look at my muddler the same way again).”—Brad Thomas Parsons, author of Bitters, Amaro, and Last Call
“John deBary is an extraordinarily talented mixologist and the perfect bartender to show the home enthusiast how to make great drinks. Drink What You Want is packed with helpful tips for creating balanced, delicious cocktails in the comfort of your home, and is sure to become a must-have cocktail book!”—Julie Reiner, owner, Clover Club and Flatiron Lounge
“Overall, a book with simple cocktails and classics for the noobs, thoughtful analysis for the grizzled pros, excitingly stupid drinks for the lazy and desperate, and a lot of little revelations in cocktail flavor and function throughout. Great stuff.”—Camper English, cocktails and spirits expert
“Cocktail expert John deBary offers an illustrated guide to archetypal drink recipes, along with cheeky suggestions for riffing on those standards.”—Liquordotcom
“A generous pour of informative fun, like a conversation with your favorite bartender.”—Garden and Gun magazine
“deBary is an enthusiastic host who refreshingly avoids judgment or condescension, and his imaginative collection is sure to inspire those who want to try their hand at mixing up a cocktail at home. This is a terrific entry point that even veteran bartenders can appreciate.”—Publishers Weekly