Prep work

A few years ago I decided that I was tired of the same old, same old.

So we dusted off an old tradition and started enjoying the cocktail hour. This was at the beach, and we generally have a rotating crowd of house guests, so cocktail hour became a participatory sport. We ended up throwing away a lot of our efforts, but we also found some great old recipes and invented some new ones.

As soon as we settled on that evening’s cocktail, we mixed up a pitcher and loaded up on the boat for our cocktail cruise, and so sprang our signature for evenings at the beach.

“Darn!” (As in it’s a damn shame that we have to be here doing this!)

We ended up with 15-20 solid cocktails from that summer and enjoyed many of them (and added a few more) during the chillier months back in Nashville. And cocktails became a tradition for when folks came to visit.

The following summer the tradition blossomed and grew into a continuing topic of conversation, and we added more cocktails to our list.

When Christmas rolled around I drew our future son-in-law’s name for the handmade gift. As we were weaning ourselves from a wine-centric view of drinking, Tom, who was raised in Liverpool and lives with one of our daughters in London, was beginning to branch out from beer; so a bar guide seemed like an enterprising gift.

I had a blast writing up our experiences and researching cocktail recipes. I learned a lot and realized how much about spirits and cocktails that I had no clue about.

I came up with a bar book design that can be expanded, personalized and used. I wanted it to be nice enough to be appreciated and flexible enough for Tom, or me, to add notes and ideas.

It seemed to work, and when we launched our publishing company last year, we decided to publish it for others.

We published Frank’s Little Black Bar Book, Luxury Edition (marketing department added that last bit) and are selling it through specialty stores here in Nashville and in Southern Pines, NC. It is in a limited edition, all signed and numbered.

We’ll be adding a registration to this blog and you’ll be able to receive corrections, updates and new recipes.

And thought I would use a blog to chat about and gather new cocktail recipes. Cocktails are about having fun with friends and family, and celebrating the vast variety of spirits and flavors that our cultures have developed over the past several thousand years.

I look forward to hearing from you.


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