Berlin, Germany (Gastrosofie). Porcini mushrooms. Rowan berries. Parmigiano. Sounds only remotely like ingredients for a cocktail. But even those vegetables, berries and cheese can find their way into the shaker, if you believe Stefan Hinz. The award-winning bartender and manager has recently published a comprehensive work, suitable for the professional in the exclusive bar as well as the amateur mixer in the party cellar. “The Perfect Cocktail: From Craft to Art” the promising title of this new edition („…:Vom Handwerk zum Kunstwerk“).
And indeed, the book keeps its promise. It’s not just the 400 recipes that immediately make you want to mix. But many other aspects, some of which are underestimated or even overlooked. Including the product information, starting with the different glasses. For the long drink. For the martini. The Cuba Libre doesn’t want to be treated like a Manhattan. And vice versa. Ice is also a science in itself. Cube? Crushed? Or better not at all? And what about the garnishes? Even the orange slice on the rim of the glass can have more effect than many believe.
Stirred or shaken? The classic question. But don’t worry. Techniques and bar tools are not neglected either. And neither is sustainability. For example, the author shows how food waste can be avoided. An important topic in this day and age. But Stefan Hinz also looks to the future. What will the bar of tomorrow look like? The “most innovative bartender of the year 2020/2021”, as the magazine „Falstaff“ once named him, is happy to break new ground. He points out alternatives. He is not afraid to push the boundaries. Experiments, unusual textures, presentations that are not off the peg.
He also looks back. He offers a foray through the history of cocktail and bar culture. This is not only exciting, but, like history in general, contributes greatly to understanding. Anecdotes also provide great entertainment value. Conclusion: A very successful, technically excellent and at the same time very descriptive all-rounder on the subject of “bar” and “cocktails”, written by an absolute professional who has already written several award-winning specialist books and regularly offers seminars and workshops. He should know as his multi-award-winning bar “Little Link” in Cologne has long been considered one of the top addresses for the discerning palate.
In addition, Stefan Hinz is breaking completely new ground with “Root to Fruit” (RTF). His company, RTF Distillers GmbH, sells innovative botanical spirits that do not fit into any pigeonhole. Kalyx”, for example, uses the whole range of natural ingredients, from root to fruit. Among others, fragrant rose petals, hibiscus, raspberries, oranges, wormwood and violet root. It is no coincidence that the whole thing is also called “Elixir Vivant”. Lively – and with the book on top you can’t go wrong. Whether stirred or shaken.
Stephan Hinz, Cocktailkunst, Die Zukunft der Bar (Cocktail Art, The Future of the Bar), 360 pages, with colour photographs, binding: hardcover with ribbon, publisher: Matthaes in Dorling Kindersley, part of the Penguin Random House Group, Munich, 1st edition, October 2022, ISBN 978-3-98541-058-3, selling at 49.90 EUR (Germany), 51.30 EUR (Austria)
The above article was translated from German by Christoph Merten.