Each year Food & Wine releases a cocktail guide, which, in addition to being an anthology of recipes both classic and creative, is a window into the minds of some of the country's best bartenders and a reflection of current drink trends. This year's guide -- Food & Wine Cocktails 2012 -- just hit the shelves, and it features contributions from two local stars.
Bryan Dayton, bar wizard and owner of Boulder's Oak at Fourteenth, offered a collection of variations on Irish coffee, including one made with tequila. For those who prefer to sober up after dinner, he also whipped up a mocktail for the publication, using butter rum syrup and lavender whipped cream.
Williams & Graham proprietor Sean Kenyon took on tequila and mezcal -- he wrote about his trip to the Del Maguey mezcal villages as Westword's Ask the Bartender columnist last year -- mixing up a classic El Diablo, a drink made with blanco tequila, creme de cassis and ginger beer that comes from the tiki era. In one variation called La Vida del Diablo, he uses Angostura and ginger beer to mimic Chinese five-spice.
While we're betting you can coerce these hometown mixologists into making these cocktails at their own bars, the book is definitely worth picking up, and not just for the extensive list of drinks we're eager to make at home. It also features recipes for drinking snacks from places like Austin's Uchiko, Los Angeles's Umami Burger and New York City's ABC Kitchen.
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But if you don't want to shell out $10 on Amazon, we're almost as impressed by the Food & Wine iPhone and iPad app that was unveiled with the publication of the book: the free download features 350 cocktail recipes -- though not this year's, yet -- plus cocktail tips on glassware and bar tools, a bunch of recipes for snacks, and bar recommendations for several cities across the country. Colorado's hot spots? Well, Oak at Fourteenth and Williams & Graham, of course, plus Boulder's Bitter Bar and Jimmy's in Aspen.