In a Nutshell

How to build your home bar to create 365 unique cocktails buying a different ingredient each week.

TCL Rating:

What’s the story?

Now here’s a premise The Cocktail Lovers find most agreeable: each week you’re given instructions to buy a particular spirit and then supplied with seven individual recipes to make with it. Week one starts with gin and the recipes include Hot Gin, a Bulldog Cooler and a Gimlet. On to week 52 and we’re talking stocking your home bar with Demerara rum to produce, amongst others, Hot Buttered Rum, a Grand Slam Cocktail and the lethal Zombie. The instructions are brief but effective with advice on measures, methods, where to buy difficult to find ingredients and all the equipment you need to stock your home bar all clearly laid out upfront.
Apart from the recipes themselves, there’s a useful index at the back of the book giving details of cocktails you can make with just a few ingredients (gin only; gin/rum; gin/vermouth, for instance.) Another brilliant addition is the search by types of cocktail facility (breakfast cocktail; long and cool; nightcaps etc.)
There are seven drinks to a page with a group shot of each drink on the facing page. We have to admit the photographs are a bit strange; we couldn’t work out if the designers are having  a poke at the overly garnished drinks from the 1980s or if the garish looking concoctions are for real. To be honest, we’re still not sure but they do make for entertaining viewing!


120-page soft cover recipe book containing recipes for 365 cocktails, one for every day of the year.

Ms S says

Forget the cheesy photographs and zone in on the concept: learning and enjoying how to make an array of cocktails. If you’re really committed you’ll end up with a home bar containing a varied selection of spirits and liqueurs including Dubonnet (!), Swedish punsch, Calvados, Kahlua and Sloe gin. The Brilliant Cocktail Concept is a great idea if you just look past the aesthetics.

Mr G says

This is a nice way to get started with home mixing. It would be very tempting to just dip in and find appealing recipes but with a little discipline (difficult we know) it would be a lot of fun to follow the rules to the letter, adding a new bottle each week and trying more and more drinks. One new cocktail a day, every day for a year, might be a tad too far though – honestly. An intriguing idea, we would love to hear from people who literally work through from front to back as directed. That would be a cocktail dedication we admire.

The Details:


The Brilliant Cocktail Concept, Charles of the Ritz & Carlos of Raffles, £9.99. Published by Foulsham.
Available from Amazon

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