Drinkology, the Art and Science of the Cocktail by James Waller

11 Jan

In the name of animating the words from this book in an unbearably exquisite manner, I have chosen to feature some photographs of Piaget’s Limelight jewellery collection. The range includes a series of precious-stone rings that have been inspired by some of the most famous contemporary cocktails.


Picture the scenario if you will.

Your toes have surpassed the stinging sensations and are now comfortably numb in the oh-so-dainty looking heels you purchased with your grocery money. An already delicate waist is being cinched to distraction by an impossibly beautiful belt, creating an alluring hourglass silhouette at the expense of your ribs and, indeed, your breathing.  Those false eyelashes you spent so long in the mirror perfecting lay heavily on your eyelids, causing every blink to require the utmost strength and composure. But, naturally, you couldn’t care less. You’re at the bar, with one set of crimson polished finger nails clutching an exquisitely frosted glass, and elegantly sipping the most luxuriously blended cocktail you have ever had the pleasure of consuming.

This is the scenario of the girl about town who’s bartender has had the intelligence to familiarise himself with Drinkology.

A recipe book with a twist, Drinkology combines the art of creating a perfect cocktail with the fascinating details of how the cocktail came to fame in the first place. Divided into easy to read sections based on the key ingredients that you could use, the book manages to give context and insight to some of the most popular and established drinks that you could think of. Not just catering to the classics, the lovely thing about this book is that it explores cocktails that you could never even imagine had existed, and even acknowledges this sometimes and assures you to trust the unknown.

Here were some of the cocktails that sounded the most exciting to me:


  • Broadway: Combining lager and coca-cola for a cocktail that is “very popular in Japan”.
  • Cherry Blossom: “Color is decidedly unlike that of a blooming cherry tree” but very “nicely balanced” and “not too sweet”.
  • American Beauty: A fruity concoction, “the shockingly pink colour resembles nothing found in nature”.

Champagne and Sparkling Wine

  • Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie: A Drinkology original, the “herbal quality of the rhubarb bitters tartly contends with the strawberry liqueur’s sweetness”.


  • Beauty Spot: A pale concoction, this is described as “a pageant winner”.
  • English Rose: Just like it’s floral companion, the English Rose is “pink and ladylike”.
  • Snowball: A licorice flavoured cocktail, this is creamy and has a “vaguely disturbing greenish tinge”.
  • Banshee: I used to love the legend of the Banshee when I was younger so this creamy cocktail caught my eye.
  • Dreamsicle: A creamy and fruity number, this drink is described as “smashing”.
  • Pink Squirrel: Admittedly I’m not too keen on the recipe for this one, the name was just too good to pass by!


  • Caribbean Millionaire: Absolutely loaded with rich, fruity blends, and “garishly overproduced” in a good way.
  • Gorilla Tit: A powerful blend of three dark, strong flavours, and “cola-coloured”.
  • Scorpion: A lovely mix that will “sting if you’re not careful”; sounds identical to me, a fellow Scorpio…


  • Asian Pear: Does what it says on the tin and tastes “astonishingly like a tree-ripened fresh pear”.
  • The most hysterically named of all of the cocktails in the book, I thought it would be poignant (as a literature lover) to finish with this- the Tequila Mockingbird. A lime infused drink, the author himself notes that he would “love to make the acquaintance of the master punster who gave this unusual drink it’s name”.

Having contradicted my expectations that this would merely be a recipe book for the cabinet, I was pleased and excited to find lots of additional information in regard to bar tending and how to maintain your own miniature bar among the blend bible. Catering, too, for those who may be new to experimenting with alcohol, the book gives basic guides to things such as when to use what glass and also what phrases such as “on the rocks” really mean (with ice in that case). If you enjoy taking the time to enjoy the aromatic and sensuous side of drinking alcohol then this book is definitely for you. A la Mode Appraisal: 8/10 

Drinkology is published by Stewart Tabori & Chang and and is available now at all good book stores for £15.99.



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