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Book Review: The Signature Series: A Journey That Will Last for Generations to Come by Erik G. Ossimina

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In his book, The Signature Series, mixologist Erik G. Ossimina (E.G.O.), a.k.a. Sauve, proclaims that his real interest is in helping readers make memories, not in making them euphoric with spirits. The Signature Series offers serious drinkers a selection of diverse and, in many cases, unusual cocktails to include in special occasions. Ossimina contends this will “show future generations the importance of having great times with family and friends,” and he urges the reader to pass down the memories and stories of which these cocktail creations become a part.

But therein lies the rub. Aside from the author’s account in his Introduction of how he came to write the book, he shares no vignettes, stories, or personal memories related to any of the drinks other than his original signature drink, The Jackhammer. Yet, his concept of making family memories, even if he and his family are uncomfortable with public scrutiny, would seem to compel him to include at least a smattering of personal recollections. And the intriguing assortment of names given by Ossimina or others is ripe for storytelling!

Aside from the book’s absence of a personality created by storytelling, technically it is straightforward and thorough. The author clearly identifies the required spirits, mixers, garnishes, glassware, and bar tools needed to create the beverages in The Signature Series. He encourages brand substitutes and omission of specified ingredients in the event an item is not readily available or simply not obtainable. Nearly all drinks included are for seasoned drinkers. For example, the drink that started it all, Ossimina’s Jackhammer, calls for both 1½ oz. of Jack Daniels and 1½ oz. of Absolut Vodka. For those who do not drink spirits, there are eight “courtesy” non-alcoholic recipes to supplement the series.

The nation’s current heat wave provides a pop “relevance” to The Signature Series. While the lists of spirits, mixers, and other “bar stuff” requires a real grown-up’s bar, there is a rising trend of consumers preferring to drink at home. And the home bar Betty Draper keeps for her husband on the TV series Mad Men is pretty cool. On the other hand, home bars are still more typical of “senior” drinkers, and attitudes about alcohol are changing, so the premise of alcohol, albeit consumed responsibly, helping to build fond family memories may be a tough sell to some readers.

But in the end, whether or not an individual buys The Signature Series by Erik G. Ossimina will depend simply on whether they see enough enticing beverages to justify the purchase. And for seasoned mixologists, there are plenty of creative concoctions to choose from. As for the good times and memories, they fall under the purview of the drinker.

(Reviewed by Joseph Yurt for Reader Views)

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  • Jonan

    very nice post.