For those who haven’t (and those who have) made it through the phone booth doorway into unassuming cocktail temple PDT
, here is a book that distills not only the philosophies and practices of the famed pseudo-speakeasy, but also captures the punk-serious culture of the place, thanks in no small part to Chris Gall’s comic-book-cool illustrations. Whether you’re building a bar from the ground-up, tweaking an existing bar program, or looking to skyrocket your homebound bar skills, The PDT Cocktail Book
’s got you covered. It’s the best kind of professional tell-all (like a wide open door into PDT
’s secrets,) with Jim Meehan
sharing everything from the logic of his floor plans to a detailed list of the tools, techniques, and ingredients central to the bar’s success. And the recipes (book-ended by “Setting Up the Bar” and “Back Bar” sections) span the gamut, from Hugo Ensslin’s original 1916 “Aviation” to PDT
collaborator Don Lee’s 2007 ode-to-Arnold, the “Reverend Palmer.” And lest you prepare, and imbibe, too many items from PDT’s vast cocktail catalogue, Meehan has included recipes for some noshable Crif Dog
favorites, including the everything-bagel-as-hot-dog “John John Deragon,” cheese and jalapeno-smothered tater tots (the perfect foil to over-boozing), and the fried mayo, modernist hybrid “The Wylie Dog.” In a world brimming with cocktail books, PDT
’s is a refreshingly no-nonsense, contemporary offering. Drink up.