If you’re a cocktail geek like myself you’re well aware of the recent buzz surrounding PDT as Jim Meehan, the managing partner and guiding force behind the award-winning speakeasy, recently released the PDT Cocktail Book. The term “epic” is tossed around too casually these days, but in this case I don’t hesitate to attach that label to this book. The PDT book features recipes for over 300 classic and original cocktails that have been featured on the PDT menu since it opened. But it doesn’t stop there. Ironically, the cocktail bar known for its secret entrance opens the door to expose practically every aspect of its operation—recipes for syrups and mixers, bar design, setup, glassware, equipment and ice machines used, even how inventory is arranged and organized in the basement. Not since the Savoy Cocktail Book has a cocktail book featured such a wide breadth of material. The book offers something to everyone from the casual drinker to the aspiring bar owner. Like I said, epic.

The idea came to me to blog my way through the PDT book. And since the PDT book features illustrations, I figured it would be a wonderful thing to have a photo accompany each recipe. And who better than Life's A Cocktail photographer Vanessa who does some of the most beautiful cocktail photography I’ve ever seen (so beautiful that some of her photographs were featured in the Museum of the American Cocktail in New Orleans last Fall). This inspiration came from Erik Ellestad’s monumental achievement of making each and every cocktail in the Savoy Cocktail Book and writing about it. Considering many of the recipes in the Savoy featured defunct ingredients—ingredients which he somehow managed to will into existence again—Erik’s project was an overwhelmingly audacious one. Admittedly, my idea is not nearly as ambitious. But it is still a monster of a task considering the sheer volume of recipes to be covered. Loosely estimating, if I feature three cocktails per week (which is not necessarily the plan), the project will take me over two years to complete. So I invite you to pick up a copy if you don’t already have one and get ready to work through it with me!

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