At-home bartending is an activity not unlike at-home barbering. It’s one of those things that seems like a good idea at the time, but in the end you regret not leaving it to the professionals. With 60-Second Cocktails, noted British booze writers Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley are trimming most of the pain from amateur mixology. How you progress with your self-applied haircuts is up to you.
To demystify the practice, the authors have crafted a book that spells things out in clear and illustrative fashion. “Simple-yet-delicious” cocktails are divided into three cheekily-titled chapters: No Shake, Sherlock consists of drinks requiring minimal preparation. Shaker Maker involves a touch more tools to master. And Dress To Impress throws an esoteric ingredient or two into the mix.
But no matter to what page you turn, you’re guaranteed easy-to-follow infographics on how to artfully assemble your creations. And each offering is accompanied by a full page rendering to serve as a proof of concept. True to its billing, no example in here should take you longer than a minute to complete.
“The book came together because Neil and I were always messing around with cocktails at home, and making really delicious concoctions that weren’t difficult to put together,” says Harrison. “We’ve always been very passionate about the idea that people can make cocktails quickly and simply—and also quite cheaply—but quite often they choose to open a bottle of wine or a can of beer.”
The English co-authors are somewhat of a Lennon/McCartney combination in the world of spirits writing, having teamed up on no less than four projects. Their previous tome, The World Atlas of Gin, was shortlisted for a Tales Of The Cocktail Spirited Awards back in 2020. They also appear together regularly on national TV.
Across the entirety of the UK, it’s estimated that more than 2.7 million households have actively curated a home cocktail bar since March of 2020. Of course, for many of them it was a practice born of the lockdown era. Nevertheless, research suggests that plenty of drinkers are continuing to hone their hobby—especially here in the US. Which makes Ridley and Harrison hopeful that their book will find cross-pond success. Assisting them in that endeavor is its arrival time; just before the holiday season, when folks are thirsting for that ever-elusive stocking stuffer. It’s actually not a bad thing to have on-hand during your holiday gatherings.
“We wanted the drinks to show off different styles as well as the design for different occasions,” adds Harrison. “So you’ve got party starters and ones that might be a bit more luxurious. We are really proud of it, as we really hope it empowers people to make cocktails at home. And also gives them an idea of what goes into really complex cocktails that you might find in bars and restaurants, and why they can come round some of the prices that they do.”
In fact, the book will probably end up costing you less than a drink at your favorite cocktail bar. You can purchase it now on Amazon starting at $15 for a hardcover copy.